There is no such thing as coincidence. Everything is stitched through time although the seam is not so readily apparent as we journey off the beaten path of life.
More than a few years ago, my college boyfriend gave me a lithograph he found at an auction. He said it reminded him of me because he knew me more than I realized. Yet, neither one of us knew the artist’s name or any information about this lovely, sweet painting which has hung in my bedroom ever since.
Fast forward 25 years and in the middle of bathroom renovations, I discover the wonderful art of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. His 19th century paintings of the Baths at Caracalla so entranced me that I made my way to the ancient ruins at Caracalla this spring in Rome. I spent the day there. It is an amazing place which now stages summer operas and concerts. I was enchanted.
This weekend I decided to re-do the bedroom and again researched this lovely painting in my room. Lo and behold, the story came together effortlessly, as “Sunshine” by Lady Laura Theresa Alma-Tedema revealed itself to me. It turns out that Lady Laura was the wife of Sir Lawrence and they lived together in St. John’s Wood London, near my favorite haunt of Little Venice.
The artistic couple lived at 17 Grove End Road (now 44), at the corner of Abbey Road and right off Maida Vale. It’s where I stay when I’m in town. As a Beatles fan I walked in the famous Abbey Road crossing, as a young girl visiting London for the first time. Now, I walk by it frequently and never knew that the secret garden in my painting was right in front of me all along. The building was recently restored and now houses a charitable organization. Yet 150 years ago, a man and a woman, very much in love, painted together and one such work found its way into my life in the 21st century. Maybe it’s not quite time travel but a stitch in time made it’s way through two centuries to light up my life with Sunshine.