With summer nearly in full swing, I'm all for holding summer in my hand, pouring summer in a glass, and tilting face towards a scented summer blossom newly opened. In deep contrast, however, to both quotation and photo above by Jill Wellington, it is wildly windy, rainy, and cool out as I work on this post. I ask, how much more can my plants take of these gusts? While leaves become wind-crisped on one poor clematis, I am in wonderment at the sheer tenacity of the morning glories, their fragile tendrils gripping fast to the trellis as the wind gives their pots a shake.
It is really a day to get lost in a book somewhere deep indoors, with cups of tea at the ready instead of rosy iced lemonade. Someone mentioned on social media that she was reading John Steinbeck's East of Eden and I was compelled by her recommendation. Having never read this epic story of good and evil, I borrowed the book from the library. With a mere 601 pages in the centennial edition, my work is cut out for me these next few days. On this rain-driven day, I could make a good start on it, except ...
A certain someone around here muses aloud of how Jacques Pépin's recipe for French Apple Tart sounds pretty easy, don't you think, and wouldn't it be nice for tea on a rainy afternoon? Having now watched the video a couple of times, I have to agree, Jacques does make it look easy, me not having honed the pie crust making skill. For a view and whetting of the appetite, you can watch the short video HERE.
Before I take out apples, flour and butter, I want to share something that caught my eye in the Steinbeck novel. Set around the 1880s, as key character Adam Trask completes his service in the United States Army, he muses about army life and how time passes when so many days are filled with non-eventful routine while they wait for action:
"Time interval is a strange and contradictory matter in the mind. It would be reasonable to suppose that a routine time or an eventless time would seem interminable. It should be so, but it is not. It is the dull eventless times that have no duration whatever. A time splashed with interest, wounded with tragedy, crevassed with joy—that's the time that seems long in the memory. And this is right when you think about it. Eventlessness has no posts to drape duration on. From nothing to nothing is no time at all." ch 7, p 56
This passage, especially the line I bolded, somehow speaks to that out of time sensation I have had these past Covid-shaped months. There were many days for us, living in our own space for weeks on end, when life seemed to stand still. Routines were simple, and days melted into each other. There wasn't much to separate one day's events from the next. Sometimes trying to remember what I did in the previous couple of days, I had to rack my brain to remind myself what I was about that day. Surprising too in the midst of it, I'd be flabbergasted that a week so uneventful passed so quickly, waking to find it Friday already again. Time standing still and time zooming by, all at the same time. Time is a funny thing.
Earlier this week, to quote Steinbeck, time splashed with interest and our hearts were crevassed with joy as we spotted the first roses in bloom. Around here, roses are pretty special in our garden. Most are not hardy in our zone. Thankfully rose breeders have given us a few that can now survive the hard winters, but tender tea roses must overwinter in the garage if we are to enjoy them come Spring. So imagine the great gladness that overwhelms our hearts when a single rose bud bursts open. And, there is especial cause for celebration when Peace Rose begins her season's debut.
Rose shrub, 'At Last'
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Wishing you a day that's kind and beautiful.