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.
Brenda, what a delicious mix...apple tart and roses! I think I'll need to make a tart too as I have apples waiting and yours looked very delicious. Those first rose blooms....aren't they worth waiting for? Although many of mine are well out, I'm still waiting for my Peace rose,ReplyDelete
Oh yes, Barbara, those first rose blooms are so worth waiting for! I completely agree. Our Peace rose always has a head start as we overwinter it in the garage, so it never has to start from the ground up. It would never survive in the garden.Delete
My poor plants were getting quite the beating too these last few days, especially the hanging ones. But, like you say, they are toughing it out! Your apple tart looks yummy. I'll be making a rhubarb something-or-other today.ReplyDelete
Joy, The wind is calmer today, thankfully, it will give our plants a reprieve from all that hanging on. I imagine your rhubarb something-or-other was a real treat.Delete
Thank you for this rich piece of cake of a post. Goes well with a hot cup of coffee. The covid-time association was spot on. Happy Friday, Brenda!ReplyDelete
Kim, I loved the way you said that - this rich piece of cake of a post. Thank you! Glad it went well with your coffee. :)Delete
Your roses are beautiful and the tart looks delicious!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Penny! :)Delete
The apple tart looks yummy. I love the roses. I have always loved them, but have given up on trying to grow any.ReplyDelete
You probably already did this but did you ever try any of your province's famous Morden rose series? They have done well in our garden here in northerly Alberta. We had a Centennial Morden once that grew and grew on its trellis. I loved it. We did some landscape changes and we lost it.Delete
Dear Brenda...Your roses are divine. I look forward to watching the video. Thanks for including it. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting, too, my friend. Hope your weekend is sunny and warm and FUN! SusanReplyDelete
Susan, I hope you are inspired when you watch the video. It's such a simple but yummy treat. Hope your summer is unfolding pleasantly for you.Delete
we have gone from a never ending year to summer in full force 109 degrees today-time to stay inside except in early morning when it's cool enough to go outside...love your lovely roses and apple tarts!ReplyDelete
Lin, I am ever flabbergasted that your summers get so, so hot. That's nearly 30 degrees warmer than I've ever encountered. Thank goodness for AC. I'll have a sniff of the roses and think of you today!Delete
Oh the roses! Roses are our reward for enduring winter. Your apple tart looks a delight! I'm sorry to say I have not read any of Steinbeck's work. Early on in my reading life I deemed his themes dreary and depressing, but there's a reason classics endure, so perhaps the time has come for me have a dip into the pool:) Happy Weekend!ReplyDelete
Kathy, Roses are our reward indeed! It's true that there's a reason why classics endure. But reading them needs to be in our own timing and season, no matter what the 'experts' say. I don't think it's ever too late for the heart to discover that 'now' is the time for that book I couldn't read in my youth. And not be ashamed or guilty we haven't done it sooner.Delete
I read East of Eden years ago and really enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
Your French Apple Tart looks delish!
P.S. Not sure if it was planned, but love the connection between the appple and Eden. Ha!
Margie, You made me giggle, I admit that connection was a moment of unplanned serendipity.Delete
I wish I'd thought to hold spring in my hand. Our summers are a little too hot for my liking. But as my hands are empty, I'll hold summer instead and welcome it. There are blessings in every season.ReplyDelete
PS. Your apple tart looks amazing.
I agree, Amalia, there are blessings in every season, but I cannot imagine trying to find them in that intense heat of yours. :)Delete
I have enjoyed your turn of a phrase. Lovely post.ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Vee!Delete
I'm trying to decide which is more delicious, the apple tart or the roses.... ROSES win! So, so, beautiful! Which ones smell the most? About now I bet you are thinking they are worth all the work.ReplyDelete
Gretchen, As gardeners, that is what we wait for all year long, isn't it? And yes, the sighting of those first blossoms do make all the work worth it. British gardener Monty Don said it so well when he wrote in his memoir, The Jewel Garden, "As we get older we realise that the days are more precious and half-moments of intense joy are more valuable than jewels."Delete
I read your musings on time with interest. Indeed, time is a funny thing. Your ponderings have led me to ponder the idea of eternity when there will be no more "time" as we know it. And that is all to big for my brain . . .ReplyDelete
Yur tart looks scrumptious and the roses beautiful! Happy beginning of summer to you!
Cheryl, Oh my, yes, my brain completely boggles trying to think about time and eternity. A good brain stretcher... :).Delete
wonder-and-delight-full as always! The tenacity of blooms struck me too this often windy beginning of summer. And, Now I want to read East of Eden! With apple-tart would be divine! Happy Summer 2021 to you<3ReplyDelete
Janet, I recommend both the book and the apple tart. The book is striking - the story is filled with pages that are beautiful and pages that are not, a real glimpse of life on our planet.Delete
Your roses are lovely and so is that apple tart! What a nice variation from a pie! I may have to give it a try this week and surprise my husband!ReplyDelete
The tart was delicious. We didn't add a glaze at the end - we didn't have any apricot jam. And we didn't add the usual scoop of ice cream, as we were out of that commodity as well. It didn't matter, it was delicious all by itself.Delete
I blossom under kindness as well. And good manners. I love the idea of going out into the garden and introducing yourself to the flowers.ReplyDelete