Sunday, April 11, 2021

Spring Puddle


 A light rain fell on a gray afternoon Time to go for a walk On the path through the park was a puddle edged with cherry blossom petals. The puddle reflected a tree and the sky. Drip drip, drip. Each raindrop overlapped the next in concentric circles. The tree in the water-mirror shimmered. Its edges blurred; a moving watercolor in a puddle, painted wet on wet,

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Cherry Tree and Bench


 Cherry trees of every size and type are in full flower, all over the neighborhood. I discover new ones on each street. Many people experience the annual cherry blossom spectacle only from the seat of a car, driving past the trees. They sometimes remark that the cherry trees are disappointingly white. It’s a different view when you walk among the trees Those fluffy masses of blooms have fine markings in pinks and reds. This is what gives them such a delicate tint. I hope you all find somewhere to sit for a while, enjoy and really examine a cherry tree in bloom. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Grape Hyacinths


 Some people see these little bulbs as a nuisance. They reproduce diligently and have a habit of spreading in patches across a lawn. We just mow around them until they finish blooming. To me, they are one of the welcome signs that spring truly has arrived. Not only do their flowers look like grapes, they have a scent somewhere between violets and grape soda. I like to gather them by the handful and put them in tiny vases. There are always more in some other corner of the yard.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Courtyard Arch, Deruta


 Slowly, slowly vaccinations are becoming available. With them come dreams of what the future could hold. I am thinking back to days spent wandering up and down little hill towns in Umbria, where fewer tourists go in March. Deruta is renowned for its hand painted ceramics. Colorful tiles surround doorways. The street signs and shop names are ceramic, embedded in the walls. A family member often sits on a stool right inside each shop's door, painting dragons, putti or scrolling acanthus on a plate or a jug. I hope to return some day, to walk into every inviting courtyard and explore, unencumbered by fear.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Container For Souls


 Last year, on March 10, a friend and I went to the Renwick Gallery to see "Hearts of Our People; Native Women Artists." That was the last time I rode the Metro and the last time I was in a museum. The next day, everything began to shut down. As the year wore on, I’ve thought a lot about the art we saw that day. One artwork in particular has taken on special resonance. Marianne Nicolson's wood and glass piece filled the gallery with her Northwest Coast culture's iconography. As we walked around it, our shadows joined the shadows cast by the glowing box. Much of Ms Nicolson's art is about the need for healing the landscape. Perhaps, through art, we have the power to also heal bodies, minds and souls.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Bird On A Bare Branch


 We are in that annual time of transition, waiting for Spring. The trees are bare, but the tiniest of leaf buds have appeared. A bird rides a branch, caught in the midst of a swirling gust of wind. He chirps and stays upright, like a seasoned sailor on the waves. The branches sway, forming ever-changing sets of diagonal lines. What a glorious sky! What lovely lacy patterns the smallest branches make! It's good to be alive on such a beautiful day, full of promise.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Moss and Lichen On a Wall


 They are always around us, but rarely noticed. On a gray day towards the end of winter, a shady wall is more colorful that anything in the garden it protects. The textures are enough to make me linger---velvety moss outlining each rough brick and pale lichens doing their very best impression of peeling paint. Look closely at that almost-florescent yellow lichen. It has crept along and dusted the moss with yellow, like the aftermath of a busy honeybee spreading grains of pollen out over the petals of a flower. Such marvels of nature, right there on a brick wall.