Saturday, May 15, 2010

Set me as a seal

Brilliant morning, the air is crisp. Saplings in the front yard whip in the breeze. The privet is in robust leaf, screening the road. Some of its branches are still bent and misshapen from the ice storm that flattened it in March, so the hedge doesn't look Hamptons perfect but rather tumultuous and wild. In the shaded woodland border Solomon's Seal is in elegant bloom, draped with single strands of seed pearls (I would love a necklace like that). There's also pink flowered rhododendron, astilbes forming panicles, and oakleaf hydrangeas, no longer mere deer-gnawed twigs of vertical kindling, lighting green from the bottom with emergent soft leaves.

Woke up this morning feeling sideswiped by despair but am feeling better as I have gone about my day. An unexpected comfort was discovering that a favorite writer of mine, Dominique Browning, has published a new memoir. She suddenly found herself out of her job - as editor-in-chief of House and Garden - when Condé Nast summarily shuttered the magazine. She had to rethink assumptions and reinvent herself, and at the same time be there for other aspects of her life, such as being mother to two adult sons, and also experiencing a love affair which was (or is) excruciating for her in a way that feels familiar to me. Reading her is like being with a close friend, even if I (like Emily, remaining in my room even if she should come to call!) never meet her. Actually, I have no desire to meet her - she is the perfect friend of my imagination.

The aroma of chicken roasting with lemon, garlic and thyme, fills the house, a treat for lunch along with green salad. The windows are open and a breeze is blowing. A soft song plays on the radio, outside chimes ring, a dog is barking, in the distance a mower whines, and various birds sing. In the woodland border, amidst sweet woodruff, held high above lanceolate glabrous foliage, diamonds ride.

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