One of my favorite notable paintings is called The Veteran in a New Field (1865), painted by American artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910). According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the artwork was painted “through the summer and fall of 1865.” The painting depicts a symbolic Union veteran who returns back to being a farmer after many battles of the Civil War.
What I admire most about the figure in this painting is his ability to move forward after enduring the ravages of War, by working and cultivating a new life; evidenced by the abundant harvest. The painting also eloquently illustrates our mortality as the summer relinquishes its fruits and life.
This gripping artwork affords me a metaphorical lesson that can be applied to my recent fight against cancer. Despite the visible scars, along with the coexisting veiled cancerous wounds, I am the undeserving recipient of a new redemptive life: engraved by new insights and perspectives. Like the Union veteran in the painting, I’m driven by a new internal flame to work hard and cultivate a new life. Although the abundant reaping may not be in the form of material goods, it will, however, transform me from a wounded soldier to a renewed harvester.