This Thing Called Courage

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hello Again


IT'S BEEN ALMOST TWO WEEKS since I've posted, and that's a case of not so good. My only excuse is the busy-ness surrounding my step-father's death, (the funeral is tomorrow in New Hampshire) and my own work involving the review of the galleys of my first novel, the completion of my second, and my work on my third. I've come up with an idea (stolen from my dear friend George, of Bob and George fame) how to update this more frequently, and that is to post (at the least) a picture a day, even if I don't get to write about what's going on in my life. So...today's picture is the small field of wild sweet violets that bloom every eyar on the right side of my front doorstep, nature's own little 'welcome home' mat when I come and go. For some reason they are especially fragrant this year-- a pansy, sweetish-smell uniquely their own. Heaven. My milkweed-- still in their individual peat-pots-- are growing apace, and out of 25 planted, 23 came up-- an astonishly high percentage. I still haven't talked to my landlord about the new flower garden I want to plant along the front wall bordering Main Street, but he is home from Florida and I hope to do that soon. We are also looking forward to precious Will's christening this Sunday-- what a shot in the arm that will be for the family.

I have too much to do today-- my current novel (a gay Hardy Boys type mystery set in Nahant)is supposed to be finished by June (not so good!) and I've only written eight chapters, although I like what I've written. The bathroom needs to be cleaned. Laundry is in arrears. The rugs are cussing out to be vacuumed. And yet with all of that, I am now stepping outside for thirty minutes to paint with my watercolors the purple wild sweet violets mentioned above outside my door. They will only be in bloom another few days or so. In the words of poet Mary Oliver, "What else should I have done instead?" Oh, speaking of poets, everybody go outside today and look at the color of the leaves now-- and think about how perfectly Robert Frost captured their ephemeral color right now, and the transcience of beauty--

Nature's first green is gold-

Her hardest hue to hold;

Her early leaf is flower--

but only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf,

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn sinks down to day--

Nothing gold can stay.

And thanks again to all who sent notes and calls of sympathy-- deeply appreciated.

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