Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Westminster Tower
The sun is going down and it highlights the iconic monuments with burnished light. As dusk approaches, one of the most dramatic part of the day begins.

Over the years, business has taken me to London numerous times. Little bouts of exploration leave me enchanted with the different lifestyles in this world city. I have seen much, even with the time constraints of work and energy. I push through and enjoy a selection of different things on each trip. One time, it might be museums and art so vibrant it takes my breath away. On another, a walk through alleys and thoroughfares brings architectural discoveries. Mamma Mia at the Prince Albert Theatre and Evensong at St. Paul's, a tradition since 604. Sunday service at Westminster Cathedral just months before William and Kate's wedding had me studying the carvings and nave knowing that they would be doing the same thing gave me a sense of belonging to a stream of history. At least a little bit.

Continuance. There is what came before and there is what will come, but now is the real present. A gift of experiences and wonder. Challenge and acceptance. Wonder and love.

Close-up of Art
Brussels Alleyway

Appreciation. I cannot walk without admiring what went before me. Art so intrinsically molded into the facades of countless buildings which are left to weather the elements, sometimes for hundreds of years, and still they survive. Did he know - the builder - the carver - the mason? Did he ever think that I would be walking in front of his work eons after he died reveling in his vision? Did he realize that thousands more just like me would stand where I am standing and soak in his beauty?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blizzards and Patience

As the media got hyped up for the impending New England storm last week, I listened with increasing excitement and delicious pleasure. While I knew it was probable that we'd lose electricity if the winds were intense, it didn't overly worry me. We had a fireplace, lots of wood and a freshly tuned-up generator.

Shawl from Nature's Wrapture by Sheryl Thies
I did what most New Englanders do, I did all the electricity-necessary chores, put fresh batteries in the flashlights, cooked soup and a chicken pot pie, got out my knitting and made a fresh batch of cookies loaded with chocolate chips. Nothing says comfort during a storm than chocolate chip cookies.

It is odd to watch a storm gather on a TV map and take a walk outside under a field of puffy clouds in a clear sky. They did fill in, though, towards the middle of the week and we knew the 'Euro model' would likely prove correct and we were in for a pissah of a storm.

My only disappointment was that the bulk of the storm was overnight on Friday and I missed it. The high winds rattled the rafters and I could hear the gritty sound of snowblast on the siding as I fell asleep. It was soothing. This one didn't feel like a threat.

While it was still coming down Saturday morning, things started dissipating before noon and then the skies cleared and the sun dazzled as it reflected off the pristine snow.

The snowplow didn't get to us until mid-afternoon (actually my choice when I answered his phone call). Take your no hurry...won't be going anywhere. Smile, smile. I like the feeling of being snowbound. It is cozy, safe and there is something about it that prompts me to take it easy and do things I might not make time for - easy things, pleasurable things. I knit, packed for my trip coming up on Friday and, of course, cooked.

This time, there was no electricity loss in Lunenburg although southern Massachusetts got a triple whammy on that score. No one was allowed on the road after 4PM Friday which was taken seriously so accidents were few and emergency people and plows could do their jobs with fewer impediments. Oh, I imagine there may have been a few foolish people but I wasn't out there so I didn't see them and I prefer to think they were all sensible and did what they were told. After all, it was only a 24 hour storm.  What could be so important that you just had to get to a store during the storm?  I mean, surely you knew about it beforehand?

I am so glad we settled here. There is so much to enjoy - good friends and family and maple syrup and blueberries to pick by hand. Oh, floating in the water - lake or sea, take your pick, both are awesome. Mountains and vistas, seagulls and an occasional bear tramping through the backyard. Okay, I can do without the last one. But warm beach sand you can sink your toes into until you reach the cool layers below, that is a scrumptious pleasure. The smell of the ocean, the feel of the breeze off the water as it cools your heated skin.

The hushed silence of the world during a snowfall and your sense of peace rediscovered when you experience it.