Sunday, September 24, 2017

Still There

Giant storms and earthquakes and volcanoes spewing ash. Schoolyard bully-style name calling, missiles flying and jets swooping, hydrogen bomb threats... it's a wonder we can sleep at all.

When I woke today from a restless night, the world was still there, so I took a walk in it.

It was pretty cloudy when I started out, but the sunlight slid right through the mist covering the mountains.

My phone camera did its best to capture the emerging light.

Beany, dirty face and all, kept a careful eye on me, 

while Weetzie watched the great blue heron that accompanied us, up ahead and just out of camera range. 

Farm workers have picked truckload after truckload of green chiles from these fields. Now they wait for the last ones to turn red for the red chile harvest.

I know the farmers rightly dislike the field bindweed, but its flowers are beautiful among the red chiles. I saw some tomatillos growing in among the plants, too. 

I need to stop watching the news and take my cues from nature. 

Here is Arthur Symons' poem, In the Wood of Finvara, first published in 1896. Although my heron is no fairy bird, and Symons speaks of "sea and sea" and fairy woods and not of the desert and its irrigated valleys, he knows my heart.

I have grown tired of sorrow and human tears;

Life is a dream in the night, a fear among fears,

A naked runner lost in a storm of spears.

I have grown tired of rapture and love's desire;

Love is a flaming heart, and its flames aspire
Till they cloud the soul in the smoke of a windy fire.

I would wash the dust of the world in a soft green flood;

Here between sea and sea, in the fairy wood,

I have found a delicate, wave-green solitude.

Here, in the fairy wood, between sea and sea,
I have heard the song of a fairy bird in a tree,

And the peace that is not in the world has flown to me.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Love Story (Again)

I wrote this back in 2013. I think that it's appropriate to repost it today on our 36th anniversary. 

Way back when Beez and I first got married in 1981, we bought our first new furniture. My favorite piece was a small-scale wing chair with red Colonial plaid upholstery. It was the perfect size for me because I am short and the chair allowed my feet to reach the floor.

I sat in my comfy chair to read and to think. When we moved from Washington state to New Hampshire, the little chair came along and fit right into our 1770 Colonial home (see The House on High Street for more about that historic house).

Through the years, sitting in my little wing chair, I read about raising children, adoption issues, and going back to college as an adult. I studied for my classes in that chair; classes that helped me earn first a Bachelor's degree and then a Master's. I learned to knit there and made a lot of sweaters.

As I grew older, I also learned to take a quick nap while sitting bolt upright in that chair. Of course as I aged, so did the chair. An overenthusiastic puppy chewed the chair's legs and ate the upholstery right off one of the arms, so I learned to make slipcovers. Then I learned that slipcovers made out of thin fabric don't last. When the first yellow gingham slipcover got worn out too quickly, I made another slipcover out of a sturdy flowered fabric that I didn't like much. From that I learned that stuff you don't like just never gets any more attractive.

The third slipcover was made of plain and sturdy white canvas that I really liked. It lasted a very long time and went with everything, even this red room I painted in New Hampshire.

Red living room with dog basket and white wing chair

We moved to New Mexico and retired. By and by the white slipcover wore out, too, and the poor little chair looked so shabby. I threw a quilt over it but eventually decided, not too long ago, that it was time to say goodbye to my loyal and comfy companion. I asked Beez to please take it to the dump, right away before I changed my mind. He loaded it up and drove away.  

It was like deciding to put down a beloved old dog. I had really thought that it was the right time and just didn't have it in me to make another set of slipcovers, but I was haunted by the thought of my good little chair down in the pit at the dump, lying there at the mercy of the big bulldozer. 

That was almost a month ago. Today I came home from a morning at my knitting group and walked into my special little reading room. There, standing once again in its usual corner, was my beloved little chair--all reupholstered in fine new fabric, with its formerly scratched-up wooden legs refinished and gleaming.

And there was dear smiling Beez, who (after 30-some years) knows me better than I know myself.