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As I’ve no doubt mentioned several times, I have a tradition of reading the same book each spring. Since spring has been curiously delayed this year, no doubt having remembered some sudden and unavoidable appointment elsewhere, it has taken me a long time to finish my book this year. We have a week of rain, flood watches, and yes, even some potential snowflakes in the forecast, and I still have not reached the point in the book that makes me cry my eyes out in a sort of cleansing purge. The book is Anne of Green Gables,(go ahead, call me juvenile), originally published by L.M. (Lucy Maude) Montgomery in 1908. My copy is a little yellow paperback that I got some 40 years ago in a bookstore in Northgate Mall, a few blocks from my house. It was between a “This End Up” store and a store that sold fireplace implements and other impracticalities – from which I bought my brother a lovely Spanish sword for Christmas one year. (Thankfully, he never used it on me, though I’m sure he was mightily tempted.)
While I have read the other “Anne books”, this is the one that touches my spirit. The author has a way of weaving magic and beauty out of common images and words, even tweaking them to her own words when actually OED words just don’t suffice. I know I have a tendency to do that too, and that the way Anne sees the world is the way I see it: looking in nature and treasuring moments of beauty that are transitory yet everlasting in memory. L.M. Montgomery seems to capture all the hopes and dreams and sorrows and quiet joys of a young person’s future in her portrayal of Anne, and while I am not a “young person” chronologically, I have those same hopes and dreams and joys and sorrows, some now bittersweet memories and others anticipated with all the optimism of a teenager. And ll the enthusiasm of spring, when it finally throws off its cloak of gray and shows its true colors.
My version of the book is slightly shabby from numerous readings, has no copyright date, and isn’t even visible on Google images, and has a photo of a girl who someone at Tempo Books thought looked like Anne, but I disagree. I have my own vision, painted by L.M. Montgomery’s words, which is far more lovely and moontouched. And I highly recommend it if you need to bring a touch of spring and hope into your life.
Quote of the day:“Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” — L.M. Montgomery (of course)
I have been far too busy to write anything but work, but some moment, when I was buried in Proposal Land, spring started to birth. I will have a bit of a break over the weekend and next week, and lots of beauty to share. But for now, please accept my humbling offering in the spirit of the end of winter.
Spring in Colorado makes me smile.
Quote of the day: “The first real day of spring is like the first time a boy holds your hand. A flood of skin-tingling warmth consumes you, and everything shines with a fresh, colorful glow, making you forget that anything as cold and harsh as winter ever existed.” — Richelle E. Goodrich
The blanket Tamara left me
Tequila when it’s needed
Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel
A trip in the offing
And that I am so happy about marrying Michael. When I married the first time, I really wanted to get married, and I was with ex-Pat, so we got married. This time, I want to MARRY MICHAEL. Perhaps it sounds like a fine difference, but it is hugely fine and makes me radiate peaceful delight when I consider it.
The Fiddlehead Ferns of Fate
The passionate young man in overalls
has aged gracefully.
He tends his garden as he tends his children,
lovingly and in such a way
that each progeny,
be it flesh and blood
or root and leaf,
knows that it is treasured.
The wildness of soul is –
For now –
Expressed in a mystical empathy with beautiful beasts
and in decadent desserts.
He has danced in the pouring rain
and judged the quality of absinthe in a dim cafe
and always remembered a single promise.
A man of such heart
the cool and wonderous touch of fate
found in another’s hand to hold
as he passes through
this sun-dappled world.
he finds it
somewhere admist the ferns.
Remember this? Spring? Blooms? Never fear. Soon come.
Quote of the day: “Time is the coin of your life. You spend it. Do not allow others to spend it for you.” — Carl Sandburg
The teasing return of birds
A soft sunrise
The light on the skyscrapers this morning
Iced green tea
Today’s photo of the day is a little different. It’s to send a blessing to the missing Colorado girl, Jessica Ridgeway. A picture of her is also below – please be vigilant for her, as she might be anywhere by now. And please keep this little girl and her family in your prayers, and hope that whoever took her has the courage to set her free.
Santa Fe, New Mexico.
PLEASE! SPREAD THE WORD! SHARE HER PICTURE! POST IT IN ANY PUBLIC PLACE THAT YOU CAN! WE CAN FIND THIS LITTLE GIRL!
Quote of the day: “It is much easier at all times to prevent an evil than to recify mistakes.” — George Washington
How our Colorado community pulls together in times of trouble
My own daughter
Leaving a light on
I choose to remember the days of light.
I choose to remember the sun shining off silver.
I could remember the confusion, horror, fascination, and fear. I could remember the devastation that an empath feels on such a day. And of course, I do remember those things. I remember them viscerally. They are likely contributing to my bout of depression.
But today, I will choose to remember a day, years and years ago, when I emerged from a subway station I had never been in before – one of my rare forays into the New York City subway system – and looked up. It was a bright and beautiful day, full of sun. And I looked up. And up. And up. Yes, I knew I looked just like a tourist, craning my neck, bending half backwards, trying to see the top of those silver pillars playing with the brightness of the day. But I didn’t care. I was amazed and wonderous. And oh-so-touched with joy that I was finally standing at the feet of this sterling place that I had only before seen from the air or a distance. I just stood there, letting people bump around me, with a goofy smile on my face. A goofy smile that carried to my eyes and exuded childlike joy and light itself and that made all the rushing bumpy New Yorkers who had to interrupt their steps soften just a touch and not mind quite so much having to rearrange their hurried pace.
I remember going across the street to the old church, St. Paul’s Chapel. It was closed, but I wandered around the graveyard, as graveyards are favorite places of mine, examining the headstones, and soaking in the peace of the place. I was amused by the incongruity of something so historic in the shadow of something so modern – these crumbling, weather-worn stones side-by-side with the sleek, silver, glassy skyscrapers. I remember how hot the afternoon was, and how I sought shade and shelter in the cemetery. I was not taking many pictures in those days, so the pictures are only captured in my mind’s eye. I wish that were otherwise.
Today, the interior of my body aches and weeps and quietly wails in memory of losses. It is how my spirit works. But I am going to choose to remember the sunshine of that day, and other days, and days to come.
The fires are improving bit by bit, but for those who have lost their homes – 346 in Colorado Springs alone, so far – the pain and loss and immense task of rebuilding is just beginning. I gave them this rainbow to show them that, yes, there is hope.
Quote of the day: ““No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The milkweed seed that floated alongside me on my walk from the bus tonight
That the fires are improving
No, it’s not Texas (are you listening, idiot?). It’s Portland. And it’s another shot in our “C’mon, Spring!!” series.
Quote of the day: “Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.” — Ellis Peters
Swearing at the gas pump
My orange cover-up
Being able to support my kindred spirits
I think my spring flowers are truly encouraging spring…it’s been absolutely gorgeous here. So I’m going to keep them coming for just a while longer. (Though I owe Beth Ann a picture of my new elephant teapot!)
San Francisco, California.
Quote of the day: “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” — Mark Twain
Warm days and sunshine
Never leaving a room empty-handed (it keeps the house tidier)
Although we are approaching a full month past the first official day of fall, the gods of autumn seem to be lolling around in Speedos, soaking up the last of summer’s rays. In other words, it’s been a mercifully slow transition. Here in the Centennial State, we have been enjoying warm weather, azure skies, and leaf colors that rival many states with a far larger deciduous contingent.
Yes, I’m thankful for this Indian Summer, which, by the way, since that term has its theoretical origins in Native Americans attacking European settlers and vice versa, I am determined to toss out, and use the more ancient and agriculturally based term, St. Martin’s Summer, or the Latvian term “Atvasara”, meaning “flashback of summer”. Political correctness and semantics aside, it has been lovely. But loveliness tinged with that sense of foreboding, with that feeling that something is following you, but if you don’t look over your shoulder, it won’t actually be there, that all of us who find ourselves plunged into the depths of winter despair and cold-bruised joints experience.
It is out there. And it is coming.
We’ve been lucky. Most years, by now we’ve seen at least one snowstorm. Green grass is a memory and leaves are not just off the trees but bagged up as landfill fodder. Right now, I can still see the grass, and I have not yet reached the place where I am staring at brown and longing for spring, except in the dead cornfields I pass on the way home.
And there is one last holdout from our always-too-short summer. Okay, two holdouts. One is inside my sunroom, and the other is outside my bedroom window.
They are both crickets.
There are seemingly two crickets left in all of Colorado, and I’ve got ’em. They compete with one another, their chirps feeble and
fading, like a couple of little old men trying to outdo each other in tall-tale-telling before their lungs give out.
I recall last fall, towards the end, the end of everything, when my ex-flame watered the last crickets of summer to keep them alive just a little longer. I recall when I was small and my Mother had a “cricket cup” to catch the crickets that would infiltrate the beach house in the summer and drive us crazy with their songs at night. I recall listening to them with an overwhelming sense of relief as they first chirped in the spring in the fields outside of the Cottage.
These two hang on by a transparent thread, trying to resist death from chill nights and chillier rains. I empathize with them, and hope the chillest of winds, hearts, and fates are gentle with me in the approaching winter – much gentler than last. I have hope and faith to help me through, and the echo of their song to keep me warm. And the certain knowledge that this season
will pass into a new spring, and the crickets will play again.