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When I lived for several months in France as the guest at a large walled-in Chateau estate, I enjoyed early morning walks through the forest, the formal gardens, and a secret garden.  As the sun rose to filter its light through the woods, the trees looked as though someone burned the tree-tops with millions of sparklers. I began to understand why the French Impressionists were so in awe of light and color.

This pastel is from one of those early morning walks.

I might add that my early morning walks lit some fireworks in Carl and Nick, the security guards who slept in the room where all the alarms would ring if someone walked through the infrared lines outside. Without thinking I often tripped the alarms on my five o’clock morning walks.

I focused on how the sun washed the treetops with fire and repeatedly crossed the infrared security line set the night before because of the previous intruders who climbed over the walls.

The alarm bells and whistles jarred the sleeping Carl and Nick. Oblivious to the commotion I instigated in their office, I wandered on through the gardens, until my always with me walkie/talkie buzzed. Because the Chateau had 100 rooms and the grounds were expansive we had to communicate via walkie-talkies. I clicked on, “good morning.” I heard, Carl here, You again forgot to warn us when you are out walking so early.”

Good thing there were no dungeons.

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