For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown."
This sweet girl was my kitty companion for 17 years. Today is her unofficial birthdate. (I never knew the exact date. ) She died last year on the fourth of July, but I often expect to see her in her favorite perches as I round the corners in my home. I suspect I always will.
"I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through. " ~ Jules Verne
Yes, I have one of those closets. You know the kind. As someone approaches, you shout, "No, don't open that...." You are interrupted in your warning, as boxes and papers and assorted mismatched items fall upon the head of the unsuspecting victim who, seeing the rest of your fairly tidy house, thought it would be safe to open any door. This was our homeschooling closet for eight years. Though we have not been homeschooling during this past school year, I had yet to return the closet to its original purpose of linen storage.
Back to the drawing board... well, to the stack of paint cans in the basement. I found a nice yellow paint, left over from painting the kitchen back-splash five years ago. (Are you beginning to suspect that my basement - with all of these old cans of paint - looks something like the aforementioned closet? *grin*) I grabbed another of those cans of baby pink paint and headed back to my laboratory, er, kitchen. I added some of the pink paint to the yellow and then, in a boldly creative move, poured in a whole lot of red food coloring for good measure and stirred. The result was pale peach, rather than the hoped-for glowing apricot, but pretty enough for my linen closet. I painted the closet late on Friday night, after my boys went to sleep. Then, I spent the early part of Saturday folding and stacking linens in my pretty "new" closet.
During this school year, Tuesdays have been the day most likely to find me at home with no outside commitments. So, Tuesday is cleaning day, laundry and ironing day, and my one real chance for "down time" all rolled into one. I manage that by cleaning in 45 minute sessions, then giving myself a break with the computer, a novel, or a walk in the garden for 10 or 15 minutes before tackling the next cleaning task. Now that I am substituting for the paraprofessionals at our local school system, my Tuesdays at Home sometimes turn into Tuesday on the Run and the house looks a little worse for the wear until the weekend (if i have time to clean) or the following Tuesday.
This morning I brought order to a chaotic kitchen, sprinkled essential oil infused baking soda on the living room carpeting and vacuum-cleaned it, and washed a few windows and floors. I took time on one of my breaks to pick some flowers for the kitchen table. I put a lot of clutter away and did a few loads of laundry. In a few minutes, Tanka and I will eat lunch and then I will pull out the week's ironing. Before that though, I think I will squeeze in a few minutes of reading The Samurai's Garden. I'm very good to my cleaning lady, aren't I? Flowers, lots of breaks, and some reading time built right into the work day! *grin*
There wasn't much blooming today in the woods. I didn't find a secret bower overflowing with trillium as I had hoped, but there were the tiniest wild violets I'd ever seen, strawberries blooming in the footpaths, and leaves unfurling in tender shades of green, red and gold. We stepped over mossy rocks and around fallen logs peppered with woodpecker holes. I hope I can carry the quiet of that walk with me through the upcoming week, which looks as if it will be as busy as the last.
photos (except #3) by Aisling 1) Sunlight through the birch leaves; 2) tiny woodland violets 3) Maple leaves unfurling (by Haiku) 4) birchlog with woodpecker holes
This seems to be my year to miss every opportunity to see the full moon! Nevertheless, I went back to my favorite source for old moon names to find out whose light was seeping in around the bamboo shades last night. It was the Song Moon, whose softness cast a glow of light throughout the night.
The transition from April into May finds the occupants of the Quiet Country House unusually busy. I have been working at two different school libraries, doing my best imitation of a Soccer Mom, and pampering myself just a bit. Tonight I will be modelling two vintage wedding gowns in a bridal fashion show. More about that tomorrow (maybe even photos...?)
Out in the garden, the bees are as busy as my family has been of late. Things are blooming, the bees are busy gathering and pollinating, and tender seedlings are pushing through the soil as if eager to see what all the buzz is about. I know exactly what it's all about, and I know of what the Song Moon is singing: It is spring. It is beauty, and energy, and vitality, bursting forth in fragrant, colorful, commotion. It is life renewing itself. And maybe, as I have been today, the Earth is pampering herself just a bit!
photos by Aisling, 1) the setting sun over the lake, 2) narcissus