Go look for yourself.
I just wrote a new post this morning, then was so tempted and revived by some photos from the "wine district" of south-central British Columbia, Canada and therefore couldn't resist posting again. It helps that they are photos from a wonderfully good friend whom I miss dearly.
Little squeaking patting noises as Max pursues this morning entertainment of hitting his small chubby hands on the door of the dishwasher.
A Polish man in pitch-dark of the moonless November evening, selling his sketches door-to-door in confused and broken Swedish. His sketching case patched with tape. His dripping umbrella folded haphazardly. The sight of it touched me. I bought a portrait of a small sleeping boy he said was his nephew, curled up with a cat.
Sitting at our kitchen table (the clock edging towards "the indecent hours") eating spicy fries baked with cheddar cheese, black pepper, and green onions, dipped in sour cream or homemade honey mustard, and talking about love.
The comforting feeling of achievement when I walk in our bedroom to see the rather large cupboard-desk that I yesterday disassembled in the wet and cold, hauled inside, and reassembled before Martin returned home.
Indulging in (basking, really) the absolutely overstated "superwoman" compliment from my kind husband.
A conversation with my mom, loving and wise, who willing got out of bed to talk when I called too late. How blessed am I to enjoy a friendship (and receive advice from) with someone who has known me since birth, loves me unconditionally, has lived a life of experience and grace, and freely shares her thoughts without expectations, demands or condescension. Awfully sad how often people waste their years not hearing the wisdom of experience from people around them; taking their proximity or relationship for granted, only realizing what they've missed when it's out of reach. (This is a reminder to self not to do so!)
Expectations of my pursuits of the day: things that give absurd pleasure like reorganizing, painting, designing and writing, and drinking that first cup of hot black tea swirling with cream (or condensed milk, even better) and honey. I love tea absurdly much.
Planning a tea. I bake scones, provide the butter and the cream and the tea, and each guest brings at least one jar of jam or compote or marmalade. Oh, delicious!
Starting to feel crazy. Yes. Actually crazy. Wondering about "cabin fever". Exhibiting symptoms.
An idiomatic term for extreme irritability, emotional instability, and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined indoor area for long periods of time.
Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, irrational frustration with everyday objects, forgetfulness, laughter, excessive sleeping, distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow or dark.
Several recent conversations fused together, provoking thought and prose on forests and plains.
Forest is fantasy: red-topped mushrooms crouching under fir and fern, footpaths leading away up piney slopes and thick beds of moss coating stone and fallen branch. Her scents are powerful. Subtle, too. Smells of green and clean. Smells still and wet. Forest is mystery. Secrecy. Creatures and things hidden behind trunk and beneath knoll. Faraway rustlings and mutterings, snappings and scrapings. Wood nymphs, trolls and dwarves. Dim, black: under fir and towering pine, even the hilltops sheltered, surrounded. Secure, ensconced. Forest is she: her deep, dark moods pulling you to some unforeseeable destination. She is wild imagination and a hundred years of quiet, predictable growth.
Grassland is eternal heavens and unending horizon, straight and unbroken, the way bearing neither too far left nor too far right. Prairie is always he: solid, stark, open, strong-tempered and generous. He has no subtleties. He gives up everything in a wide, sweeping panorama: all his blue, blue sky, his rich, black earth, his bent and stubbled trees, his grasses, the hunting hawk and prowling fox and creeping critters. It's heart-land: honest in unpredictability, in harshness. The killing snowstorm, the drowning thundershower, the long dry spells. The ferocious wind that tears down from the north and lances the skin. He loves tough: reddens the neck of the soil-toiler. He heartens the appetite and puts you to work. And never deprives of a sunrise and a sunset, an ocean of land edged in light.
To say one is more beautiful -- he or she -- is folly. Just plain silliness. It's the taste of salt or sugar. The feel of wood or of air. Both good and created.