I was surprised to hear and see that it was raining tonight. OK, it’s only March and this is the Pacific Northwest. But somehow all the blooming, the bulbs up and showy, the fruit trees, the camellias and almost the rhododendrons, had convinced me that winter was over which means sun instead of rain.
I went out to retrieve a box of recyclable paper now sodden because it sat in the rain outside the locked door to the garage. Went out to toss scooped scoopable litter so it doesn’t smell up the house. Went out to stuff a bunch of envelopes to return to Federal Express into the front seat of the already crowded pickup. Went out to remember, after a day of desk drawer tidying, that there is fresh air out there and somewhere a moon and now a bird bath to entice the wee chirpers to our back garden. Meanwhile, a bird has been merrily sitting on top of the nesting box outside our front door. Moved in? While I continue to putter and sort and nail and order and re-arrange and make decisions of minimal consequence here in my life on the inside.
Three miniature jonquils grace a blue glass inkwell—early 20th century for sure. I found it at the antique store in Montrose, Pennsylvania—Mary’s, I think that’s the name— that day I was driving the back roads to Ithaca. It was February 29th and I was racing the coming snow, a storm that would bring the return of the gray but stopping at yet another familiar landmark along that all-too familiar itinerary from all those years slogging between family and our gypsy life in central New York. Classical music on the radio, familiar mileposts and landmarks, and yet my own life, far, far away now from all that. Can a blown glass inkwell be enough to remind me, be enough to cause me to sentimentally reminisce? Maybe it is true that objects hold the meaning to so much of everything. If only the many that surround me could talk, share their colorful pasts…
The public domain image above is from a catalog of Dreer’s bulbs, plants, roses, shrubs, and seeds for autumn planting published in 1938.