winds finally came in the night and blew away the drizzling clouds that covered our skies for nearly ten days. warm sunshine filled a cloudless sky this morning. two days ago the high temperature was barely 51, today it was 80-ish and sticky enough to say "yes, summer will come."
then, in the late afternoon, a few puffy clouds sailed in on a stiff breeze. the horizon darkened. flashes of light caused me to jerk my head toward the window and rumbling thunder sent the cats racing to lower ground. rain, briefly. then the clouds raced away as quickly as they came, leaving behind fresh, cool air and billowing whiteness touched with evening pink, very much like these...taken from our back garden... who knows how long ago.
i love cloudy and rainy days and temperatures in the seventies or lower. in other words, i have loved the unseasonably cool weather that has blessed this particular corner of the northeastern states this month. but i'm definitly in the minority. everywhere i go people are moaning about the weather, wishing for sunshine and summer. i can wait. for i am reveling in the company of pansies and lilies and alliums and columbine and irises. this cool, moist air is filled with perfumes that will be gone when swim suit weather arrives. lily of the valley blooms just outside the door and their fragrance mixes with the violas in the hayrack on the wall and floats up to greet the nose each time we step in or out. this garden is where i want to be and i will frequently stop my work or fretting and step outside to walk around for just a bit and then step back inside. for those sweet, exquisite moments all aching is swept away.
these columbine are volunteers from plants i grew from seed many years ago. i have no idea why that term was adopted to describe plants that seed themselves around the garden, but i love finding them.
it is so curious to see how far from the "mother plant" the offspring can take root. some plants literally catapault their seeds several feet away. others drop them at their feet. then insects, wind and birds often carry them further.
i hate housework. i don't just dislike it i hate it. it takes forever and as soon as i'm finished dusting vaccuming, washing windows or fingerprints off cupboard fronts it is time to start all over again.
yes, the garden is a lot of work and there will always be too many weeds to keep up with and you get really dirty doing it and there are bugs and varmints who try to eat all the good stuff.
but none of this gets me down the way housework does. after all, how many times will you find something as wonderous as this centaurea flowering amid the stupid dust balls under the bed?
i happen to be reading one of Annie Dillard's books at the moment, so when i saw a link to her writing on another blog (Duane Keiser, A Painting a Day), i clicked:
"There are many things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises. The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? If you follow one arrow, if you crouch motionless on a bank to watch a tremulous ripple thrill on the water and are rewarded by the sight of a muskrat paddling from its den, will you count that sight a chip of copper only, and go on your rueful way? It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple.
What you see is what you get."
when i was little and wanted to run away i went across the street and hid under in the ditch that ran beneath the boughs of oleander trees. being the desert it was nearly always dry but cool in the shade of the dark leaves.
it is a bit trickier trying to run away as a grown up