Sunday, April 23, 2017
I used to think my modest house took on its beauty only by candlelight. But that was before I had a new front door installed with a half-moon transom built into the top. Every morning this past week, as I descended the stairs, I noticed a brief pastoral scene framed in that window, as pretty as if it had been stolen from a colorful illustrated bible. The window is also responsible for shedding a tender shaft of light on my living room floor that greets me each day as I pad across it to reach my coffee cup.
I've lived in my home almost twenty years now, so it is too steeped in memories to be seen in a detached way. But I do take it for granted sometimes. And since I've only just begun to appreciate spring as the lovely season it is, I always thought my house made its grand entrance on Christmas Eve when my tree shines bright along with the white votives I scatter across the bookshelves. Not anymore...
As well as the new light in the morning, I realize I am truly indebted to the frieze of trees that shelter the front of my house and help keep things quiet around here. Those elms are not yet in leaf but a coppery aura tell me that they will be green soon. I learned about that from an old farmer once. The birches are still blurred with a hazy pistachio-green foliage along with a lot of unnamed plants and bushes. I don't have a green thumb but I have admire what gardeners choose to plant for maximum spring color.
Something as simple as a newly installed window has caught me off guard and made me want to head outdoors for walks. But not for exercise - I want to scavenge for presents for the house. I clipped a communal bush for forsythia branches but now they have passed. Next will be my mother's lilac which I will pilfer for both us.
There's always one moment in the house, when I sense that summer has arrived. Sometimes it's the heat I feel from the second floor when I open the front door from work -or the unmistakable earth smell from the open bedroom windows. But I've always ignored spring's visit - it's just been too painful. Lucky for me, a friend has been showering me with love and holding my hand for the last few springs. This year, with my new "view" from a simple built-in window that was really just an afterthought, I may be able to manage on my own. Every season has its gifts.