Faye gazed at the painting, remembering the day like it was yesterday, instead of sixty years ago. Her grandfather’s paintings always struck her but she was particularly partial to the ones of her. The thick oil paint depicting the garden still looked vibrant despite the years gone by. She hadn’t looked at it in years.
Her grandfather had told her they would have a day in the garden. There was nothing ten year old Faye loved more than frolicking through the azaleas and streams with her brother, Thomas. On this sunny day, she helped her grandfather by carrying some of his brushes while Thomas ran on ahead into the glades.
Grandfather set up his easel and observed the scene. Faye remembered chasing Thomas through each twist and turn of the labyrinthine garden. The vivid colors of violet, green, and the blue of the pools of water danced in her vision, all the while not minding that chasing Thomas would probably result in tearing her stockings. They giggled as they pranced, letting the sunlight kiss their skin and their voices not be silenced.
Faye trotted over to her grandfather, watching him paint the green and blue backdrop on the large canvas. “Papa! What do you want me to do?” She knew that he would be painting the garden as the subject, with herself and Thomas as only minor roles. But for all intents and purposes, Faye thought she was the star.
Grandfather chuckled. “I want you to be the sun, Faye. What does the sun do?”
Faye smiled, “Shines!”
So Faye kept that idea in her mind. She picked flowers, teased her brother, and soaked her feet in the streams and fountains winding through the secret garden. She told it her secrets and enjoyed the fleeting moments she had there.
Today, she looked at the painting with new eyes. The blues, violets, and greens were just as effervescent as on that day in the garden. Despite being offered a huge sum of money for the painting from a museum, she knew she had to keep it for herself. Looking upon the art, it was hard to tell that the little girl in the sun hat was his aging woman now. But Faye knew. And she knew no amount of money could take that from her.