Sunday, January 02, 2011

Madcap Yearnings, Runcible Thoughts

How to describe these madcap January yearnings for rantipole hues, gracefully curving lines, foreign musics and exotic fragrances?

There is no denying it - I turn inward somewhat at this time of year, downing mug after mug of rich amber Darjeeling or perfumed Earl Grey, prowling through the library (the size of a small city and tucked into every available nook and cranny of the little blue house in the village) at all hours of the day and night, hauling out my sketch books and playing with collage, looking anywhere and everywhere for color - any old vibrant color will do. The scarlet flash of a male cardinal's wing in the hedgerow is cause for celebration in January as are the blues of nattering jays, the delicate grays and creams of chickadees and nuthatches at the feeders.

Skies are morose, and it is raining here this morning. The snow is melting fast, but only a day or two ago, the garden was a marvel in the fleeting sunlight. Filling the bird feeders, I stopped by the cathedral fretwork of rose canes arching gracefully over the fence. As I watched the thorny boughs waving in the wind, along came a memory straight from the shaggy green halls of departed summer - one of multitudinous blush-colored blooms and superb old rose fragrance. A little further along, the old stone birdbath held a frothy symphonic confection of frozen russet leaves and stems, scallops of ice and bubbles like champagne. I was going to chuck out its contents and fill the birdbath with seed, but I just couldn't bring myself to disturb that fetching frozen arrangement.

Returning indoors, I made a pot of strong spicy chai and tucked John Williams' lovely Mediterranean Concerto on the CD player; then I pulled out Meredith Blevins magical The Hummingbird Wizard and Kim Antieau's delicious Coyote Cowgirl. For several happy hours, it was summer again.


Anonymous said...

What wonderful words, Cate. I feel myself right there with you.

Nan said...

I spent a long time looking at the picture before I read your wonderful, as always, words. I thought it was a rabbit's head that you had drawn, and I saw a pipe to the right. The birds around here bring music and color to the darkest day.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Cate, relating to all you share..

Kentishmaid said...

Would love to know more about the John William's CD. I am looking to expand my music library this year. The textures in your photo is amazing...nature is amazing.

Sky said...

I have been craving dosai, vadai, and sambar all day and enjoying apple cider infused with mulling spices over the holiday week. stews and soups were just what we wanted on these frigid, damp days. sunshine returned to bring in the new year, but the cold nights kept the landscape wrapped in thin layers of ice. happy new year!

kerrdelune said...

Nan, absoltuely right - I looked at the photo again, and it DID look like a rabbit.

Kentishmaid, the Mediterranean Concerto by John Williams is a lovely work for guitar and orchestra and bits of it can be heard at the link below. I also like listening to Joachim Rodrigo (Aranjuez) at this time of year.

Perhaps in our book, tea and food choices we are all trying to evoke summer? Today I find myself wanting sambals and fire breathing chilis.