Last week I spent a quiet, cozy day inside, listening to the wind bluster down the chimney and watching the sun push in and out of the clouds that scudded overhead. The scent of early morning ironing still filled the air as I sat and worked on the taxes. And then it was upstairs to tidy the bedroom, fluff pillows and put the ironed pillowcases and clothes away. Then back downstairs to dust.
There are piles of books everywhere in this house it seems! But then that is the usual state of affairs in any home I live in. But I may have actually found a narrow strip of wall space in the den to put another book case. I'll have to measure to make sure and then see what I can find. There's a lovely old mahogany book case in the attic although how the previous tenants got it there is a complete mystery since I’ve tried twice to bring it downstairs and it simply will not fit down the stairwell. It's a shame, really, as it would look really beautiful in the house and would give me much needed space for all the lovely books that as yet have no home.
I balled up some yarn later in the day, a beautiful grey and cream striped wool that I bought last autumn. I'm not certain yet what I'll make with it, but it was nice to handle it and wonder. Whenever I have new yarn it's always a slow process deciding what to do with it, sitting and holding it my hand and trying to imagine how it will look as a hat or mittens or a scarf or shawl. It's almost as if I'm conjuring its destiny or hoping it will tell me how it wants to be used: "What would you like to be, hmmm..?"
Despite the unseasonably mild weather, the batch of brilliantly sunny days here and there, and the odd brave daffodil, February was still such a dreary time of year for the garden, with everything bare and no particular natural 'theme' to bring into the house. In spring and autumn it's always easy to put things around reminiscent of the season: the first batch of violets and lily of the valley, or the russet tones of andromeda mixed with rudbeckia seedheads. Summer means bringing armloads of roses, evening primrose, loosestrife and hosta leaves into the cottage. And of course the Christmas holidays are the perfect time to "deck the halls" with holly, ivy, and pine boughs. But late-winter can be so bleak: Christmas is past, Spring is still weeks away, and everything in nature seems to come to an anticipatory standstill.
Ah, but March is different and I'm able to enjoy miniature daffodils blooming in the large "flow blue" basin in my dining room, a sprig of Andromeda in a small vase on the kitchen counter, and a lovely Wedgwood vase of Forsythia that I forced. (My annual "let's fool Mother Nature" trick!) There are crocus and myrtle pushing up in the garden beds, and now that last week's wind has finally abated I've put my ivy wreath back on the door. (I had to chase it through the garden in my nightdress one night last week!)
I could hear the old rusted camel bells ringing in the garden this morning, as if calling out to me to bring all my wind chimes back outside. They seems to know it's spring .. as if they can see the squirrels and birds bustling, and the return of greenery, and they're as eager as I am for those lazy, verdent days when late spring and early summer breezes create a sweet symphony of tinkling bells and chimes throughout the garden.