"thou art love, cover all things..."

"Sketch by Vincent" (van Gogh)

Dear Theo,

Did I write to you about the storm I watched recently? The sea was yellowish, especially close to the shore. On the horizon a streak of light, and above it immensely large dark grey clouds, from which one could see the rain coming down in slanting streaks. The wind blew the dust from the little white path among the rocks into the sea and shook the hawthorn bushes in bloom and the wallflowers that grow on the rocks. To the right, fields of young green corn, and in the distance the town, which, with its towers, mills, slate roofs, Gothic-style houses and the harbor below, between two jetties sticking out into the sea, looked like the towns Albrecht Dürer used to etch.

I watched the sea last Sunday night as well. Everything was dark grey, but on the horizon the day was beginning to break. It was still very early and yet a skylark was already singing. And the nightingales in the gardens by the sea. In the distance, the light from the lighthouse, the guard ship, etc.

That same night I looked out of the window of my room at the roofs of the houses you can see from there, and at the tops of the elms, dark against the night sky. Above the roofs, a single star, but a beautiful, big, friendly one. And I thought of us all and I thought of my own years gone by and of our home, and these words and this sentiment sprang to my mind, `Keep me from being a son who brings shame, give me Thy blessing, not because I deserve it, but for my Mother's sake. Thou art Love, cover all things. Without Thy constant blessing we succeed in nothing.'   

Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh - May 1876