Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Song of the Bobolink, 1952-59; watercolor on paper, 26 1/4 x 38 3/4 inches; Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids , Michigan, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David D. Hunting, 1962
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, May 16, 1938
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Working on the elevators picture and in the garden, has transformed our home and yard, and the country around Gardenville for me. Such rare beauty I see in certain places, as to make me feel that there is no other spot in the world for me.
Could there be any pleasanter prospect than looking out across the truck gardens at the west end of the village in the early morning sunlight. The newly worked fields so incredibly level and smooth, of a dark purplish ochre color dotted with green in some patches, beyond the new yellow-green trees of infinite variation, and above that the mild blue sky of May with a few white clouds. It arouses feelings of hope, and renewed belief in the goodness of life, and the worth of humanity.
Coming along Union Road, down near Ottinger’s, the view out over the fields to the southeast, with the tract of nondescript sapling thickets lying in the sunshine, is full of interest, it seems like much wilder country.
This Spring, with its alternating excessive warm & cold days, presents strange contrast — there is a curious combination of early Spring & June. Just one example, I saw a bobolink poised on a willow branch above a swamp pool, from which came the sound of peepers.
The bobolink’s song is one of liquid exuberance.
A dream last night:
Of being on a road, and along came the Schaffer’s in a car, who invite me to have dinner with them and see their new home - I can remember little else, except of being in their living room, which was remarkable. It was a vast place, as large and as high as a large theatre or cathedral, but otherwise like a living room in the grand style. At one end was an enormous fireplace, around which we gathered.
Friday night I dreamt of a rat running out suddenly from a rubbish pile; and Saturday morning along the lake, one did run out almost from under my feet - a chance here for those mystics who believe in dreams having a prophetic meaning!
Charles E. Burchfield, May 16, 1938