See the snow outside? It’s inches — nothing for Boston (they should be so lucky!), but a big deal for Oklahoma. And more to come, the weather folks predict. A cardinal is on one feeder, a vivid splash of colour in a drab landscape. His mate sits in the hanging platform feeder beside him, less colourful but just as hungry.
Inside, however, the fragrant steam of tea curls through the breakfast room, and the orchids & amaryllis bloom like a mad colourist’s dream: orange, white, red; the splash of lavendar against a yellow blossom. All against a far backdrop of white & grey, and the inside green of pampered plants.
This contrast delights me, I confess. I’m dressed in my warmest sweater — even w/ hot tea, the glass-on-three-sides breakfast room is chilly! — and typing away. While the birds put on a small show, and the plants unfurl these incredible flowers. On the last day of February, w/ weeks of winter still ahead.
My life is often like this. Maybe it’s just me — I know that people who get to know me better seem surprised when they find out I’m a besotted grandmother, a devout tea drinker, and more than a bit of a foodie. No one seems surprised by my passionate avowal of social justice, but the ‘softer’ threads of my nature? These sometimes confound folks.
Same w/much of my life, only this time I’m the one confounded. Love brings the darker side of worry, but who would trade away the brilliant days for the dark times? It all passes, anyway — the beauty of birds, in effect. Right now, a junco has ventured onto the deck rail, its creamy belly almost the same shade as the snow. One moment pecking at a seed, and it’s gone. Like my worries about my younger son backpacking through the wilds of Nepal vanishing as he shares his newest adventure, complete w/ droll characterisations.
I read recently — someone famous, but no, I can’t remember whom — that the dark threads give depth to the tapestry. That a tapestry made only of gold would bore, eventually. It’s in the contrasts that beauty is created, in the black type on the white page that meaning lives. The moon is that much lovelier against brooding clouds. And I know, watching the birds, that their come&go nature is much of what I love about them.
So today I’m enjoying this snow that will melt, eventually. I’m watching the flicker of red wings against white snow, and the orchid blooms that fade all too soon. And remembering: much of what makes beauty so heart-wrenching is its transience. All of it passes. Like the tea that cools in the cup…