Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies

7:00 AM

Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, 1899


Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies transports me back to that early spring day when we stood on the blue bridge and admired the lilies. Back then your hand still engulfed mine. I remember you telling about the importance of this bridge. How much people loved this bridge. How much you loved this bridge. I picked this variation because of the vertical view which highlights the reflections of the water and lilies. 
We stood there just looking at ourselves in the water. Just you and me.  I want to give this painting to you.  For the moments sitting on the bench when my feet didn’t touch the ground and constantly swung back and forth like a pendulum, and you stayed still next to me. Playing into my imagination. My dreams.  I remember running around Monet’s garden, laughing at the critters, watching the lilies drift back and forth, hiding underneath the mossy trees. The coloring book you got me so I could draw my own lilies.  Monet built his garden out of nothing. He built the bridge, the pond, the lilies. He took this previously mediocre land and turned into something extraordinary. To me you represent the extraordinary. Throughout everything you come back stronger. Your ability to care about everyone but yourself astonishes me. You give me so much and expect little in return. You showed me that kindness goes further than any monetary amount. When I see this painting I think back about how young I was, and how difficult to must of been to explain everything to me.  This painting reminds me of how much I love you and how proud I am of you.  Monet painted many lilies and many bridges but this one belongs to you and me and that spring day.  I love you, Mom.

Editor's Note: Students were asked to give a painting to someone or something they cared for. These are their moving responses.

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