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The Family of Trees
Félix Vallotton – 1922

I did not intend to write an article today. But I just realized that today is the anniversary of D-Day, and I have a story to tell. In fact, it is a story I have already told, but … 

One of my uncles survived D-Day for reasons he cannot understand. He then went north to Holland where he was asked to accompany prisoners of war who were being transported. They were seated at the back of a truck. All was well.

Out of the blue, one of the prisoners leaped from his seat and lowered my uncle’s body. My uncle nearly fell and he lost his rifle. The prisoner of war then helped him get up and retrieved the rifle. My uncle could not understand what had happened. So, the soldier showed him a metal wire the truck had just driven past. It would have decapitated my uncle had this “enemy” not seen it and acted promptly. 

This was a moment of grace and innocence. It was a moment so precious that my uncle never forgot. In peacetime, the two young men would have enjoyed a long conversation over coffee. War had separated them.

It has been seventy-five years. Yet, tears still come to my uncle’s eyes when he remembers. 

Schubert, Trio op. 100 – Andante con moto
Par le Trio Wanderer (Voyage d’hiver 2007 – Carte Blanche au Trio Wanderer, réalisation Jean-Pierre Barizien – CLC Productions)

Chrysanthemums and Autumn Foliage
Félix Vallotton – 1922

© Micheline Walker
6 June 2019