To Anna van Gogh-Carbentus and Willemien van Gogh. Auvers-sur-Oise, between about Thursday, 10 and Monday, 14 July 1890.
Dear mother and sister,
Sincere thanks for your kind letters, which gave me a great deal of pleasure. For the present I feel calmer than last year, and the turmoil in my head has really abated so much. I’ve always believed that, incidentally; that seeing the old surroundings again would have this effect.
I often think of you both, and would very much like to see you again.
Very good that Wil’s started working in the hospital. And that she says — the operations weren’t as bad as she expected, precisely because she appreciates the means of lessening the pain, and the way many doctors endeavour to do what has to be done simply and sensibly and with kindness — well I call that looking at things the right way and — having faith.
But precisely for one’s health, as you say — it’s very necessary to work in the garden and to see the flowers growing.
For my part, I’m wholly absorbed in the vast expanse of wheatfields against the hills, large as a sea, delicate yellow, delicate pale green, delicate purple of a ploughed and weeded piece of land, regularly speckled with the green of flowering potato plants, all under a sky with delicate blue, white, pink, violet tones.
I’m wholly in a mood of almost too much calm, in a mood to paint that.
I sincerely hope that you’ll have really happy days with Theo and Jo and, like me, you’ll see how well they look after the baby, who looks well.
How big Anna’s children must be by now.
Regards for today, I must get out and work, all embraced in thought.