A Short Story – The Three White Cottages

At Saintes Maries de la Mer in Provence

Painting by Vicent van Gogh

Beyond the jetsetter glitter of the French Riviera lies a coastal resort of Saintes Marie de la Mer with its legend of the “three Maries.”  As I remember summer vacations there, the locale is flanked between a dry plain and wet marches shoring the Mediterranean Sea. Here you can still enjoy Provencal festivals, running bull events and equestrian games.

I’m convinced that Vincent van Gogh was fascinated by this town and its legend as shown in his “three white cottages” painting.  According to local history, this is a pilgrimage site still honoring the 3 Maries:  sister of Jesus’ Mother, Mary mother of Apostle James and John, and Mary of Magdala, all of whom were present at the foot of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.  So, the story tells that in around 40 AD these women were expelled, put in a boat without sails or provisions and landed miraculously at Saintes Maries de la Mer. 

While standing at a replica of the boat at the pier, I wondered if Vincent had painted these 3 white cottages to remember these courageous women.  Delving into his art, I can feel the blistering windy Mistral that dries up the long grassy blades.  The whitewash walls of the cottages keeping the inside cool while the dark blue sky warrants a coming of torrent rain. 

This mystical shrine still captivates my imagination whether the legend is true or not.  The locals adhere to its historical mysticism and Vincent’s impressionistic art remains.  Just maybe, the three Maries do rest at Saintes Maries de la Mer!

Painting by Vincent van Gogh


“Imagination makes you see all sorts of things.”

–Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia once explained “nothing is less real than realism.  Details are confusing.  It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”

A good explanation for her “Mountains, Skulls and Flowers painting shown above.


Express one’s truth

A sign of beauty and faith

Be it everyone’s aim

No doubt about it, Georgia rose to be the “Mother of American Modernism” because she painted with independent conviction and achieving success.

“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”

She had an indomitable courage!

No wonder she is one of my favorite artists.

A Bing Image


Attention – that brings to mind what is to see, hear and feel.

Praise – a past or current moment when recalling God’s presence in life.

Gratitude – for whatever surrounds the now things and persons in one’s life.

Service – rendered by the end of each day to further the Kingdom of God.

A Cascading HAIKU

Sun rules the morning

Mindful of past or present

Each word does matter


Noon to make things grow

A momentary kindness

Fulfills compassion


Sunset shines the night

Choosing to be so thankful

And write about it

Happy Monday and do savor a fresh new week of hope and joy!

A Bing Image


“May you have a healthy, peaceful and fulfilling year.”

–Vadim Levin

Prophet Robin D. Bullock latest song

“The power of praise changes the day”

“Hear the music talking, the power of praise”

“It’s the time for Grace, the time to turn the page”

“The wind of the Shofar to blow”

“To show us how to live”


“It’s the time of the open door”

“Time like you’ve never seen before.”

Do you know that Jesus loves to sing and dance, and that the Father loves to see His children dance?

So, Children of God, dance!

Painting by Vadim Levin


“When we write, we embark on a kind of heart journey.”

  “We have to be willing to meet the self that surfaces when we write.”

–Emilie Griffin

Yea!  Today I rejoin my writing group.

Who will return and who will be new?

Most exciting will be new ways to express ourselves.

Assuredly, I will let you know.

A Bing Image


What’s to see during the day?

What do I see during the day?

Do I see like Jesus sees?  Do you?

Am I so numb that I don’t see someone’s pain?

Jesus says, “do not harden your heart.”

Love, to be true, has to begin with God in prayer.”

–Mother Teresa of Calcutta

All through the day we meet so many people; we see so many things.

Lord, help our minds to see as you see…and become disciples like you.

Photograph by Zdenek Jakl