A Place for Us – by Mahala (Hayley) Frandsen

Pergola in Early Spring - T.C. Steele

“Where you are right now is God’s place for you.  Live and obey and love and believe right there.” 1 Corinthians 7:17, MSG

In the heart of Indiana, amongst the purple haze of the Brown County hills stands the former home of world famous Hoosier artist, T.C. Steele, and his second wife, Selma Neubacher Steele.  They called their home, The House of the Singing Winds, because of the sound it made from the installation of that new invention, screen doors.

T.C. Steele (1847-1946) is one of the few famous artists who was able to make a good living.   He made a substantial amount of money painting portraits of Indiana’s rich and famous, but he is probably most admired for his impressionist landscape paintings of the areas in and around Brown County.

If you go to the House of the Singing Winds in April, and you should, look out from the porch to the hills.  You will see the beautiful view Steele almost captured in his painting “Pergola in Early Spring” 1919.  Steele would likely agree with this measure of his painting, for etched in his fireplace is the Irish Proverb, Every Morning I Tip my Hat to the Beauty of the World. Although his paintings are quite lovely, Steele knew he was no match for our Creator.

Steele studied in California, Cincinnati, and Germany, but he was always brought back to Indiana and that is where he spent most of his days.  He felt that there was a special quality to Indiana skies.

The Bible says that where we are is where God meant for us to be, and I am sure he put Steele in beautiful Brown County for His glory.  Steele built his home at the top of a steep hill and he and his wife planted hundreds of flowers and fruit trees that still bloom today and astound you with their splendor.  After T.C. Steele’s death, his wife, Selma Steele, generously kept the property open and then donated the property to the state of Indiana upon her death in the hopes that it might be an inspiration for future generations.

The beauty of the earth is a wonderful gift from our Father and just more evidence that He loves us and wants us to live joyfully in the Lord.  “You will go out with joy and be led forth with peace.  The mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12, NIV)

(1) Pegorla in Early Spring Image from: http://www.tcsteele.org/

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