I look at this picture a lot for two reasons. I remember so clearly the time I bought the print. It was day 45 of our 'Hall Family Sabbatical' and was pouring with rain. All four of us were living in a cosy campervan and whilst it was heaven when sunny and dry, it was tricky when wet, sadly tumble dryers didn't come as 'standard'! We were heading out of Queenstown NZ and had stopped at a little town called Arrowtown with every intention of 'panning for gold'. To my surprise neither Skye or Jesse felt the desire to get out, so we postponed the idea. I was the only family member tough enough to brave the by now, torrential rain, and get provisions for the 4 hour journey ahead.
While walking head on through the sheets of hail, I took shelter in a small art shop where I was immediately drawn to an artist called Amanda Cass. I bought this print entitled 'Love Life and Freedom. I made it back to the van without it getting sodden and when the boys (I include Andrew) had all had their fill of fresh but rather soggy bread (which hadn't quite had the same loving care taken to protect it from the rain, I showed them the picture. Andrew rolled his eyes and muttered something like "I can't let you go off for 5 minutes can I?" Jesse pointed at it (he couldn't say much back then) and Skye said "I really love it mummy, she looks like you."
It seems so ironic that I look at the girl in the picture I once saw as happy and carefree, now a ghost like vision chasing a heart she will never catch, a grey, empty sky and poppies growing at her feet. There is no 'love of life'. I ask myself, will I ever know 'Freedom' again?