Monday, July 15, 2013

Harvesting "The Good Earth"

Deep, dark scarlet in their ripeness: dark as purple, brighter than blood, translucent where the sun struck and shining with the wet juices vibrant within.  I was enchanted.  I have found new appreciation for the brilliancy of reds but late... my heart wholly given long and strong to the cool palette, and I am far from abandoning my passion for my first and oldest color-love.

But there is something still so imperially Persian, so royally insistent of attention, so vividly breathtaking in the brilliancy of the reds of the earth.  Man doesn't mimic them by half, because such strength of color paired with translucency in light does not present itself often in invented mediums.  But I digress... it was picking cherries I found a new glory.  The unripe fruit and the sour cherries were vermilion, but the sweet, ripe cherries were dark as I have described, and yet... so crystalline, so wet, so red.  

Saturday found us on a small family adventure, picking our own newly-ripened sweet cherries and a few humble raspberries.  The July afternoon was cooler than it's wont but hot enough in the late sunshine.  We gloried in the color, ate it like the old gods in rampant abandon, with the juices escaping down chins and over fingers.  The harvest was so homelike, yet so novel: never having picked cherries, I had yet for many summers earned my college-keep in picking fruit or tending fruit.  I have worked in peaches, and grapes, blackberries, and strawberries, and blueberries.  I have seen a day when the summer sun vanished in a trice of sudden gloom and growl of thunder, and picked till my fingers were falling off, record gallons of berries before the storm... yet never seen the fields of cherries against the sky, glossy among the leaves.  What new-found wonder! What beauty!

We picked only for ourselves, and that too, was glorious fun: it felt like riotous waste and carelessness, to hunt around, to leave this tree behind and move to that, a thing the hired help must not do.  What a difference paying rather than being paid makes, after all!!

After we took our hoard and went a little westward, to the beach on Lake Ontario.  We spilled our treasure of color and sweetness in the wind and sunlight, out on the picnic blanket.  Cold barbecue pork sandwiches whetted our more serious appetites while the lush fruit waited an intermission.  

Then it was more gathering and harvesting, more color on the shoreline.  The waves rose up strong and the spray came far over the rocks, for it was a day with the wind high and in our faces.  It was a challenge, it was a game, to watch the sand and stone roll along the edge like marbles or dice in Neptune's fist, and see the bright thing catch the light, and jump down before the waves and between the waves, to seize it first!  

After much of this darting in and out, sometimes without a wetting, but sometimes with, we emerged triumphant with a tiny handful of sea glass.  

What an evening; what a day!  To make summer feel again so rampant, so Dionysian in abundance, so careless of scarcity and winter, that every day is another holiday for which the earth makes jubilee.  And we, among it all, we walked like children and like kings, something of both.  

The blackbirds sang, and the goldfinches flitted in their fly-drop-fly from bush to bush.  The green spaces so long coveted dazzled so seamlessly across every scene it made the eyes ache, and then the sun-sparkle lilted on the gray gray water that reached to meet the tall, turquoise sky... no place was left to rest a mortal eye, which felt the pain of seeing too much and still "not satisfied with seeing."  How glory draws us always!

And yet, how it wearies us... as if this kind of tiredness, which makes home and bed and familiarity so welcome, might have proceeded from the early days of Eden and be called by the other name of bliss.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Of Faeries and Fruit

“Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.”

-W.B. Yeats, excerpt “Stolen Child”

Mumumio via Wikimedia Commons.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Coast to Coast in June

"Well, I'm back."

No posts and no word for the past month--during which I had the perfectly valid excuse of travel.  Between each of the members of our little household, in the month of June we covered several thousand miles, from the East Coast to the West (and a little bit of Canada)!!

As impressive as it sounds, it was less glamorous contextually.  My husband had two back-to-back conferences, one on one coast and the other, well, on the other. :)  We had planned for several months for all of us to accompany my husband to the first conference, a place I yearn to go rather passionately.  But necessary cuts to our personal budget forced us to amend the original plan and stay behind.  However, rather than stay home alone for two forlorn weeks (or three) by ourselves, the little one and I therefore trekked back towards the Midwest for a gorgeous visit to the country.  My husband then retrieved us by car, and we all made our way cross-country home again, here to celebrate our little family reunion with an in-house vacation of four days, during which we were home to no one but ourselves.

Where I have been, Internet access has been sparse to non-existent... and admittedly fewer pictures got taken by either my husband or myself than could be wished: in just two or three places was there time or leisure to consider pictures.  Our motto from long time back has always been that it is better to enjoy ourselves living life rather than preserving pictures of life going by around us.  Most photography is not truly candid, anyway; we wilfully make things look the way we want them to look on screen, as it is too easy to make pictures in general and candid photos are generally, well, boring... not to mention embarrassing.  However, we had three afternoons between us spent in capturing on camera.

For the sake of getting back into blogging here at Scieppan, and also by way of apology for being away so long, I have decided to include some of the photos we did manage to take without labels from our trip, some easier and some more difficult to recognize, and anyone who cares to may puzzle over where we have been!

Next Stop: ??

 In Transit:

 Together again:

"East or west, home is best."

"There's romance enough at home, without going half a mile for it;
only people never think of it."
-Charles Dickens (posthumous Pickwick Papers)