The Art of Community: James Tissot’s “The Picnic (Dejeuner sur l’Herbe)”
James Tissot (1836-1902)
Summers would not be complete without a picnic.
A lazy August afternoon under a shady tree, a blanket to shield from the damp earth, a basket filled with a delicious repast. Surrounded by the hum of happy chatter, laughter, and children playing in the background, picnics have enormous healing powers.
As Vancouver’s summer draws to a close, I am enjoying James Tissot’s “The Picnic (Dejeuner sur l’Herbe),” which arrived on my September 2/3 calendar. The scene is a children’s picnic, a women’s gathering. A beloved dog watches in anticipation as the lunch is being served. A young woman turns her head toward me with a gentle smile and gesture, as if to invite me to join.
There is enough room on the blanket. Come…the invitation is open without any qualifying requirements. We are friends.
The breaking of bread, sharing a moment in time, being included within a compassionate community that does not impose rules of engagement brings out the best in all.
I accepted the young women’s invitation to join her. In doing so, I reconnected with others who embrace the art of an inclusive and vibrant community.