Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday, all day long

It seemed this day was one without imagination.  A dull day, with a lethargic spirit that somehow crept  inside and inserted itself into the bracelet of bright autumn days that have encircled our lives.  And so I went  looking for inspiration to quieten the melancholy and return to some semblance of creativity and mindfulness, and came across this lovely poem by Mary Oliver.

Mocking Birds

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do than listen.
I mean this

In Greece
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all,
but gods

It is my favourite story
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willingness
to be attentive -
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them -
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water
from a fountain,

the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down -
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished,
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning -
whatever it was I said

I would be doing -
I was standing
at the edge of the field
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its dark doors -
I was leaning out;
I was listening

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19th, 2011

From 'A Calendar of Sonnets'


The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Or Empress wore, in Egypt's ancient line,
October,  feasting 'neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!
Helen Hunt Jackson

'O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained with the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit beneath my shady roof; there thou mayest rest and tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe, and all the daughters of the year shall dance!  Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers'.    William Blake

Each day of sunshine is a blessing.  I fill my soul with each cool, crisp hour; the quick movement of the birds in the garden, the sunlight through the leaves, transparent gold; my hands in the damp earth planting purple allium; fortifying myself with all this loveliness against the dreary days of November.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ABC Wednesday
October 19th, 2011

The letter this week is N

N stands for Narcissus, and in particular for Narcissus Tazetta, or Paper Whites

paperwhites-teal-Miriam Schulman

A tradition at our house at Christmas, but it is always a problem to remember to buy them,
and then to remember to plant those lovely fat brown bulbs at just the right time, so they will be in their full glory at Christmas time.

Last week, when we were in Penticton, I went searching for paperwhite narcissus, but I was too early to find them on the shelves.  However, they did have them in the back room, and now a couple of dozen are sitting in a cool place in the fridge, waiting for the time to gather the pots and the small stones, put them where the light will encouraged them, and wait for the wonderful fragrant purity of the flower.
Three weeks before Christmas should have them blooming on schedule.

One of the problems with paperwhites is their tendency to grow tall and graceful, - so graceful that they often fall over and have to be tied up with stray bits of Christmas ribbon.

I read now that adding a weak solution of alcohol to the water in the pots will somewhat stunt the height of the plants without affecting the blooms, and I think I might try this with a few bulbs.

Directions for doing this can be found here.

For more interpretations of the letter N go here, to ABC Wednesday, and say thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her kind helpers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17th, 2011

Another gorgeous October day - the sun shone and the sky donned its brightest flax blue gown.  A few wispy clouds embroidered the edges, but on the whole it was blue skies all around.

On my visit to the grocery store and then along to pick up a little Orange Brandy and Scotch for Happy Hour I didn't see one dismal, miserable face.  All smiles, smiling back at me.....

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu.  When someone smiled at me today I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin.  When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him.

A little Google poem, and I'm sorry there is no author listed.

Two doors down from us they have started to decorate with witches and pumpkins for a combination Halloween and Birthday party and across the street a few pumpkins line the picket fence.
This sent me on a 'witch' hunt and I found my old hanging witch in a box far back in the bedroom closet.

I have the witches boots and her long black robe; her broom and her peaked hat
which she can hang out on the porch while she comes in to refresh herself.

But alas, Evelyn, across the street, tells me that all Hallow's Eve will bring only a handful of elves and trolls and wee witches to call Trick or Treat on this street.  You have to live up in the area by the school, where three or four hundred children will fly along one side of the road, and then down the other -filling their goodie bags and returning to the school for hot chocolate and Halloween cookies.

At one time all the grandchildren came back to the house where Grandma and Grandpa had morphed into a witch and a wizard, and had cocoa and cookies, but those days are just a lovely memory now.

Ah well, - it was still a gorgeous day, and the sunshine gilded the golden trees along the street.

I got out the long lens and took a picture of the Aspens in the Cawston Basin,  cropped most of the telephone wires out of the picture and remembered the memorable morning Charles and I spent driving the old logging road to reach this golden wonderland, a couple of years ago.

I think it might rain tomorrow, but then again we might have one more sweet Indian Summer day