Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Garden Dreams

Spring is a month early and, since March usually feels like it's three months long because we're usually still buried deep in snow, that's really saying something! Actually, last week's weather was so warm, it was more like summer, and I spent the days outside cleaning up the garden. Today, however, is a day of chilly spring showers and, since I can't sit and watch shoots come up and tiny leaves stretch open (I need to be there to cheer them on with little welcoming pep talks =]), I'm inside trying to remember back to last year as I dream big plans for this one.

I planted my garden, two autumns ago with spent plants that had already gone underground for the winter. Many of them had been bought for a song and a dance from nurseries trying to get rid of their surplus - especially the delphiniums. I've always dreamed of having a garden with a glorious row of delphiniums!!! They were all bought in the faith that, in the pot, there was something that would flower in a somewhat blue tone. The rest of my perennials were moved from our old house, the parsonage, after languishing untended for three years. Then, last summer, after a winter of wondering if anything would survive, I just sat back and watched it all unfold and unfurl. It was so exciting - such a magic and a joy - I can't even really explain.

It's all just a bitty start. It needs to grow and fill in quite a bit my mind's eye... I can see it spreading and expanding all over the place - wrapping itself around the house and up the hill.... raised vegetable beds over by the barns....plants down by the pond....sunflowers planted along the fence by the road.... but this was simply the happy start that I've been wanting to share with you for such a silly long time, now.... 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sheer and lovely thoughts

"All women are princesses, it is our right."

~Maya, from the movie, A Little Princess

We are, accidentally, in the midst of renovations. It started with the much needed new roof that we put on, last summer. While in the attic, Tom had the idea that the space really could be made into a nifty and fun room if we added a dormer window. As he had the thought, he casually mentioned it to our middle son, asking if he'd like a room of his own. That was that! One thing has led to another (what with floorboards being peeled up and walls being moved around and chances for rewiring and replumbing, etc., etc., etc.) and, to cut a very long story short, at this point, four floors (counting the basement =]) and seven rooms are involved.

Most of the work for this is on Tom's shoulders (although, the time will come to put the pulled apart house back together again) but, even now, it is partly informing where my home projects are tending. For example, since I've been given a new shelf in my clothes closet, I've been taking the opportunity of cleaning it out.....

(Sometimes, shelves in the closet are a happy thought, indeed, Miss Elizabeth Bennett. ;-))

My closet is a wondrous place. I never quite realized it. Back when I had dreams of building a career as an operatic soprano, I had started collecting gowns that I could use for recitals. Also, there's a fair queue of vintage Laura Ashley dresses, an old Victorian cape, my wedding dress and just a whole wealth of pretty things that fit with the city life of my youth but is, now, impractical for the life of a mother living in the countryside. Then, I started realizing how many things that I have stashed all over the place - bits of lace, pastel scarves and beautiful shawls that are the height of sweet coziness to wrap around me - secreted away in a bottom drawer. And there's my jewelry box which is not full of diamonds but it is full of pretty and romantic notions.

Sometime, I'll have to share more of it with you.

It doesn't even matter, really, if I ever wear them, again. Against the trend to simplify to starkness, I desire to hang on to my superfluous treasures, thank you very much!

In the meantime, as so many of these pretties have been passing through my hands, it's been causing me to have very girly thoughts, indeed. Sheer and fluid princessy types of thoughts. Thoughts of perfume and new makeup,  delicate tea cups and, oh, so soft rose petals.... thoughts of ruffled chiffon and pearly pinks and fragile flowers. Romantic and random, feminine thoughts that are really more like impressions - senses - that remind me of how I I feel when I look at the smooth inside of a seashell. Perhaps, maybe, I would be able to share a sense of them with you.

The pretty things are fun but, even more beautiful, is the understanding of one's worth. That is the loveliest thing about being a princess, don't you think?

"Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it."

~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

The images of the princess are from a book that my sister and I loved - bonded with - as little girls. The book is called Lona - a Fairytale by Dare Wright.