Tuesday, June 24, 2014

stay with the fruit

Sometimes I look back over collages I made a while back to see what might have been hidden to me until now. Finding your inner Lewis & Clark is a great marching order for summer, or any time for that matter. It will definitely take you out on some sort of a limb, where fruit is. Something I learned recently is this: stay with the fruit. Stay where there's energy, goodness, kindness, love. Where there are books and berries. Where there's perfume, colored pencils, letters and ladybugs. If there's no fruit hanging from the limb you're on right now, go looking for some. Then stay with it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

taste o' summer

Summer drives a faded red pick-up truck with a quilt in the back for impromptu picnics. It stops at roadside farm stands, drive-in movies and soft-serve ice cream joints where the line of customers spills into a parking lot illuminated by the glow of a neon sign. Summer carries a straw bag and a bandana and a library card, wears cotton shifts and cork sandals, has toes painted coral. Summer stays cool by ducking into a museum to catch the new exhibit and porch sitting in front of an oscillating fan. Summer is a paper bag full of peaches, summer is pie. It is fireflies and sparklers and starry nights, beach umbrellas in popsicle colors, a home run at the bottom of the ninth. If summer had initials, they would be B, L and T.

Friday, June 6, 2014

summer romance

Me, Dante, a comfy perch, iced coffee, biscotti to dip in it. And time. Let the summer reading romance begin.

Monday, June 2, 2014

dog days

Dogs don't get dragged down by the whole Monday thing. They live a more seamless existence, approaching each new morning with enthusiasm. Ready to pounce and play, roll in the grass, walk anywhere, angle for a treat, make a friend. Ready to love and, especially, to be loved. What great teachers they are.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June first

Let there be gardenias. Let there be mortar boards with alma mater-colored tassels and sheet cake with Congratulations spelled out in icing. Let there be a mason jar filled with herbs on the kitchen sill and hummingbirds at the feeder outside the window. Let there be strawberries for breakfast, a mountain of summer reading to climb, an ice water pitcher floating with cucumbers and mint. Let there be cotton shifts, straw bags, sandals. And jazz. Let there be porches and poetry. Let there be June.

Friday, May 30, 2014

fluff + majesty

They're outrageously beautiful in bloom and take your breath away every spring. Who knew that the Old Farmer's Almanac was full of such passion? But when the subject is peonies, it's natural that poetry would follow. There's even a quote by Henry Mitchell, who calls them "the fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty." I didn't know that the peony was named after Paeon, Greek god of medicine and healing. Or that Renoir painted them in lush profusion. Wishing you peonies to ponder as May drifts softly into June. Whole armfuls of them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

meeting Maya

I've learned that people will forget what you said, 
people will forget what you did, but people
will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
When she was in the fifth grade, Italia was selected to read her poem aloud to Maya Angelou when the majestic poet visited Charlotte. The weeknight field trip was for a handful of elementary school poets and their teacher, and involved a backstage visit at the Blumenthal Center. It was a wonderful time, especially when Ms. Angelou said, "your name is very beautiful." Italia will never forget how that made her feel.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

new old

To think that it's possible to be this vibrant, cool and full of life at age 100 is a game-changer. Agnes Zhelesnik, a teacher in New Jersey, graces the June issue of Oprah that's all about aging brilliantly. She's on page 139, opposite the 95-year-old yoga instructor. Before reading about her, I couldn't fathom what a best life scenario might look like 48 years from now. Now I can. Now I can.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

the mother of all gifts

If you stopped to think about the wonder of it, you'd never get anything done. Here's the truth about Mother's Day: being one is the gift.
(Breakfast in Bed (1897) by Mary Cassatt)

Friday, May 9, 2014

a true fan

Sometimes a short conversation or even a passing comment can open up a Grand Canyon of meaning. I treasure when that happens, even when the words are ones that hang around as a lump in the throat. Yesterday afternoon I finally took a few big bins of Lego's (separate from the ones I put in the attic) to the Goodwill drop-off. The huge metal trailer sits in an asphalt parking lot behind the mall (oh, the irony!) where it had to be 98 degrees. The sweetest young guy helped me out and I asked if he had plenty to drink or wanted a snack since I had just come from the grocery store. "No thank you, I brought lots to drink," he said. "And they give us fans!" He was happier and more grateful for that fan than I've been about anything in a while. I cried all the way home.