Saturday, June 18, 2011
At Omi, seated at a sunlit table in the cafe area of their intimately scaled, open, lightfilled visitors center space. Could possibly qualify as a peak moment - but no, darling, you would actually have to be here for that to qualify. Numerous visitors, scattered at tables here & there, or standing at the buffet-spread counter, where as usual is a plush wheel of the local sheep's milk camembert, slices of baguette, little bowls filled with what appear to be seeds (crunchy & delicious I'm sure, I should try some). I right now am seated at a little table, sipping pinot grigio from a plastic glass, and have popped half a strawberry in my mouth, chaser from a tiny savory cracker round spread with camembert.
This place is a ten-minute drive from my house, and in the space of a few minutes I feel as though I've transitioned into a parallel universe. I was lying down wakefully in the shade-drawn bedroom, listening to a hard rain falling, not ideal for viewing an outdoor sculpture exhibit which is the attraction or draw today ("art, hors d'oeuvres, beverages, hayrides"). I slipped into my beautiful formfitting pleated print blouse & black skirt, selected flat shoes (rather than high wedge-heeled sandals) for the possibility of tromping around a wet field, opened an umbrella, black & chic (coordinating with my outfit of black & shades of turquoise, white & green). I stepped onto the porch, past drowsy cats lazing, and down the steps in pouring rain.
Within a minute or two, as I drove north then turned east, the rain ceased & the sun came out, a light mist rose off the road ahead, I passed a farm with a very young calf chewing, and then the open vistas came, an abstract (almost) panorama of blue sky, billowing white clouds - enormous, generous billows - and green foliage all around - all was green, blue, & white, at least at a glance, as I drove.
Ooh, I just tried the seeds - they are good, crunchy, sweet-spicy, baked with some sort of honey-spice treatment that I can't quite place but that I'm sure if I were to ask the very friendly chef who usually presides behind the counter pouring wine & replenishing canape trays, she'd readily tell me her secret ingredients, and I'd be like - of course, that's what it was - the "it" I can't quite place just now. Honey-roasted....... cumin? Or chutney - now, that I know is a secret ingredient in her bite-size chicken bits, that & mayo --
Darling, I wish you were here, but sitting here in my nice outfit & readers & sipping wine & enjoying the pleasant tumult of a cheerfully peopled room - is the next best thing, and besides - I'm writing to you. I did step out with my wine glass before I sat down to write, to view at least some of the installations. The one closest to the visitors center, visible in the field across from where I sit, looks almost like a very low-planted annual border from a distance, braiding & uncoiling in a wide stripe down the lawn.
On closer inspection (and now I see two women actually stepping on it, walking all over it, which hadn't occurred to me to do; I had walked, both times, alongside, regarding the work of art) they are chains made of - ? - arranged in thick freeform braids, colors splayed & twining, chartreuse, gold, blue, red, violet, & more - the lawn growing through, so that the patterned chain must have been set down some time ago (or perhaps no more than a week, given how quickly things grow this time of year).
Anyway, will grab one more cracker with a bit of that amazing cheese and no more wine - I am my own designated driver - and return home where I will forthwith greet you with a great big hug & kiss and set out to write to you, my darling.