16 April 2014

An Ideal Weekend

I so love the scent of the steam and the quiet that ensues when I'm ironing.
(It's a very good time to problem solve, daydream,
or contemplate where each item came from.)

  Great Aunts....  dear friends.... jumble sales.... antique shops.

Despite the danger of fraying and wear
they are routinely used, washed, and ironed.

Better to be pressed into service than languish in a drawer or trunk,
their beauty never seen or enjoyed.

The more mundane towels are left out and at hand,
ready for dish-drying or cleanups.

There is a lovely satisfaction that comes from indulging
in all those relatively mindless tasks
that leave me feeling I've actually accomplished something.

Carry on.

15 April 2014

To the Moon

Our moon on Sunday evening was shrouded in mist,
but she was beautiful nonetheless.
My bedroom used to be at the front of the house, 
and my den was at the rear of the house.
Since the bedroom was larger and was filled with light during the day,
I switched the two rooms.
But this meant I could no longer peer through the bamboo shades at night
and watch the moon's progress across the sky.
So now, once a month, I slip downstairs with a pillow and a quilt,
to sleep on the sofa and watch her as she sails slowly past.   

April is the month of the Full Pink Moon

The Full Pink Moon was given its name by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.  This is the name the Colonial Americans adapted.

A full Moon in April brings frost. If the full Moon rises pale, expect rain.

The Full Pink Moon heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—
one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon,
the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.

Old Farmer's Almanac

CCLXIV. To the Moon

AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,          
Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,          
Out of her chamber, led by the insane          
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,          
The moon arose up in the murky east,                 
A white and shapeless mass.

  ART thou pale for weariness          
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,          
    Wandering companionless          
  Among the stars that have a different birth,—          
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye                  
That finds no object worth its constancy?

The Cloud

That orbed' maiden
With white fire laden
Whom mortals call the Moon.

—Percy Bysshe Shelley

11 April 2014

For lo, the winter has passed

Yesterday was the sort of day we have been waiting for, here in New England, and—let it be said—it was a day we have earned, after the winter we've had.

Yes, there was more snow in previous years, and there were colder winds in past seasons, and I recall a winter where I felt like I was a character from an Ice Age film.  But for some reason this most recent winter has left everyone I've spoken to in these parts feeling grumpy, exhausted, and yearning for a day like yesterday.

By midday it was sixty-two degrees, the sky was a soft blue and utterly cloudless and the breeze was invigorating.

Robins have been hopping about here and there, plying the earth for worms after the rain we had a few days ago. The squirrels have been up to their antics as well, chasing one another in dizzying circles up and down tree trunks.

Wherever I look there are swollen buds on the flowering trees and shrubs, just waiting to burst. The Witch Hazel is already in bloom, its fragile golden filaments a welcome burst of color in what has been, until recently, a barren landscape.

It was thirty two degrees on Wednesday night, but it didn't feel that cold.  Not after the sunny afternoon we'd had only hours earlier.  But, as they say, it's all relative.  Clear the streets and sidewalks of snow and ice, bring out the sun to coax green shoots from the earth, and then throw in cloudless skies and a nice spring breeze, and thirty two at night doesn't feel quite so bad.

In fact, I experienced an unexpected sensation yesterday evening.  I opened the French doors that lead from the dining room onto the verandah, something I rarely do in winter, and a soft rush of stifling warmth greeted me. All that day's sunlight and heat had been trapped within the glassed in space. I sat there for awhile, reveling in the closeness and in the sense that a new season had arrived in earnest.

08 April 2014

When the trees sing

Ah me... on early spring days like this I love to imagine my garden
at the height of summer. It won't be long until the trees overhead
will be looking this way again.  I simply cannot wait!  

When the trees sing,
It doesn't really matter
If you know the song,
Or if you know the words,
Or even if you know the tune.
What really matters is knowing
That the trees are singing at all.
—Mattie Stepanek

Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek, known as Mattie Stepanek,
was an American poet, who published five books of poetry and one book of essays.
His volume Heartsongs reached The New York Times bestsellers list.
He was born in July of 1990 and died in June of 2004.