alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

the color intensifies

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In the dense green of August 2003 we fell in love with the farm in one moment. We pulled into the drive for the realtor's open house after nearly giving up finding it, and stopped, speechless. The property enveloped us with itself and asked kindly to let it take care of us.
Then, after weeks completing the sales of our old house and the new one, in November we moved. Since that first August visit, autumn winds had blown maple leaves against the house in thick piles. The ground was hard and the grass gone dormant. Simple lines of land, barn and outbuildings, and bare trees that had billowed with green when we first met them, presented an altered scene.
Was I wistful for the lush green of first love? No, I was glad for the change.

Something had already shifted in me. We had wanted more of Nature, close up, which was why we were moving to the country. At the same time I was going inside too, the way you do in winter. With the light opening to me through the quiet winter landscape, looking back at it through the window was just the thing for contemplation, letting it in slowly, as if suspended. It felt like a relief to get to know the farm in its unadorned state.

Now, each year after winter's span from Thanksgiving to Christmas and past the frozen calm of January and February, the next season comes in degrees, thankfully. Before spring shivers and erupts into full riots of color - iris tongues sprout an inch, and the birch sapling sheds its tissue skin, igniting into sunny orange flames (the color was really that saturated).

I'm ready for warmth, but am I ready for the riot? If I get outside often in these warming, lengthening days, I can slow down the transition for myself. Something I want:

- - - S - l - o - w - - - s - p - r - i - n - g - - -

84 comments:

Peter said...

What a wonderful love message to nature, to your house, to the seasonal changes...!!!

Helena said...

Lovely post. :-) Sometimes I would like to move back to the country but then again, you're so far from everything else there. But I love the peace and quiet and the nature.

shicat said...

Beautiful photo and wonderful thoughts. I am like you. I welcome the seasons and could never live in a location that didn't have them. I suppose it's a love affair with nature,weather? Spring is glorious but you do end up giving up a part of that quiet introspective self. Don't get me wrong, I love the long walks and visiting garden
stores,especially in the spring, when they are just opening up to the new season with new plants,trees,shrubs,delightful.
Lucky you living on a farm.

Funny I was talking to my oldest son Nick as he headed off for creative writing class(!)I asked him if he enjoyed living on the lake better than his basement apartment. He responded that he didn't mind the basement,that solitary life style that forced him to stay inside more. Not a surprise, he likes the rain and cold and snow too,and while he loves his new view and fishing too, he's just like us, he appreciates his time.

J.G. said...

Each season has its beauty, including the shifting from one to the next, and you've said it so well. Beautiful!

Susan said...

There's so much to love about every season. Even the things we hate about them have a purpose in our lives. Spring is definitely my most favorite time of the year and I like it ---s - l - o - w--- just like you, Ruthie.

On the other hand, I love it when things seem to grow inches a day. It's so transforming.

Loved your words.

And the Ireland photos are incredible!

Esther Garvi said...

I love seasonal change, but here we will not have so much change of scenery as change of temperature!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth this is such a Beautiful sentiment ... and sense of connection...
It is a treasure when a piece of the earth makes us feel at home and at ease...

♥ Kathy said...

I love Spring ♥

Kat said...

Wonderful missive. I find myself always wishing for a slow spring, as summer comes way too fast here.
Enjoy it!

Ann said...

Right there with you!! I am holding my breath until my hummingbirds come back to PA!!!!

ds said...

Yes. Let it come slowly: the birds back to the trees, a small nest, the army of tiny 'volunteer' crocuses marching across a neighbor's lawn, the buds that swell daily (soon I will be cursing pink 'snow'). We can reflect through all of this activity too. Thanks for the reminder. (now to fall again into your Irish photos--extended sigh!)

Oliag said...

What every day deserves...to go slow enough to enjoy it and truely experience it...cold, hot, wet, dry...each has its pleasures and place...but of course you have said it so much nicer! That's why I enjoy visiting here so much!

Wonderful Ireland slideshow too!

Anna said...

Hey Ruth that is my dream one day too, I want more Nature! I love your photo. Anna :)

Dakota Bear said...

I love living on a wooded hillside, feeling and seeing the changes during the four seasons. Spring is my favorite season, even though I have to take antihistamine against all the pollen in the air. Like you I pray Spring will be slow in passing. Nothing is more disappointing than having a hot day in spring that hastens the demise of the spring flowers.

Literary Nut said...

Simply beautiful!

Delphine said...

When spring starts to spring into action so do we! Suddenly everything needs attention at the same time and it's a race , oh why do weeds outgrow everything else? But then the slow gentle heat of Summer strolls in and we all slow down again ..... and bask in the flowering beauty!

mystic rose said...

Thats the first thing I fell in love with, when we moved here. The changing seasons. We came here in December, landed in the middle of a snowstorm and I rememeber I never wanted to get out of bed. And then, when I saw the first of cherry blossoms. And the start of every season is still magical, looking for those tulips, the first sign of green and the flowering of dogwoods, lush summer, and then the first appearance of fall. But I know what you mean completely, the slow transition, everythng within and without slowing down. Beautiful.

Anet said...

A slow Spring sound wonderful Ruth. It seems the past couple of years we zoomed into summer much too fast! Noah and I have spent so much time outside the past few weeks that I feel like I've really gotten to enjoy Spring. Nice and slow!

CottageGirl said...

Lovely word painting, Ruth!
You are the girl!

As with babies ... don't grow too fast!

Bob Johnson said...

Ruth both the wife and I want to move to the country, and we will one day, me mostly for the rich dark skies, my wife for the outdoors, she used to be hippie on a commune, go figure how we even met,lol.

Kerri said...

Amen! SLOW SPRING is on my "want" list too!!

Superb Post!

Barry said...

Your writing is both lyrical and apt. Ever word seems, not only the right word, but the only appropriate word.

rauf said...

You are a deep rooted tree Ruth, connected very firmly to the earth and you become earth. You are earth even while driving the Aveo.

*jean* said...

beautiful post, ruth, there really is something special about the unfolding....

shoreacres said...

It's the Ireland photos that have me. NOW I'm ready to buy that airline ticket, and fly!

Lluvia said...

I love your word choice, and I, too, wish for a slow Spring. But I would not say 'no' to a quick one. The pictures are awesome!

Pouty Lips said...

"Was I wistful for the lush green of first love? No, I was glad for the change." That's a perfect line.

C.M. Jackson said...

ruth ---

when I first came to your site I thought of Stillmeadow Road-I read the book years ago when I hoped to live in the country. You should consider writing about the farm and this feeling of place---the chickens, the barn and moments of paris when the winter gets too cold..the book is difficult to get but I think you would enjoy. keep doing what you are doing

best-
c

Ruth said...

Thank you, Peter. We lived 5 years in California, and I missed the seasons changing as they do here.

Ruth said...

It's true, Helena, that is one price for living out here. We are now happy to be 'away from it all.' Next I need an electric or hybrid car.

Ruth said...

Cathy yes, a love of nature and a love of weather. I hadn't thought of the latter quite like that, thank you! I come from a family of crazy women (I include myself) who adore storms - windy ones especially. My sister Nancy will wrap herself in a blanket and go sit out on the dock at the lake in a storm and be in absolute heaven.

But like you and Nick, I also look forward to burrowing into the couch cushions with a magazine article during inclement weather.

Ruth said...

J.G., I'm grateful to be able to watch it closely here.

Ruth said...

Susie Q, good point about cycles of the seasons having a purpose. I find that the unpleasant things in each season make the pleasant ones more so.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Ireland slideshow. :)

Ruth said...

Oh Esther, yes I imagine it just keeps getting hotter in Niger! I admire your stamina in the heat, but you have lived most of your life there - maybe you are used to it.

Ruth said...

Gwen, and that sense of loving connection with a place gets passed on when we share it. I feel connected with the Bay of Fundy because of you, and I recall Anet and Noah getting excited seeing it on the TV too! That's because you share it so well. I love it!

Ruth said...

I hope you will have abundant spring this year, ♥ Kathy.

Ruth said...

Kat, that may be true, but you got a heck of a lion-ish start to March in Alabama - snow!

Ruth said...

Cool, Ann, it's exciting when they visit, I agree. They've been known to dive-bomb Don on the porch.

Ruth said...

Thank you, DS, for those images!

Ruth said...

Hi there, Oliag, for everything there is a season, so the saying goes. I remind myself of that right now while I nurse a headache. :|

Ruth said...

I hope you can get more Nature soon, Anna.

Esther Garvi said...

The heat is fine when you get used to it gradually, but it doesn't matter how many years I've been in Niger if I take a break and go to Sweden for a few weeks, only to come back and meet a temperature change of +40 degrees celcius!
That said, I must prefer the hot season to the humid&warm rainy season... Few people would agree with me on that one, but humidity is just not my thing! :-)

Susan said...

Ruthie, another touchpoint! My whole family and I love thunderstorms! My dad always took us onto the front porch to watch them, that is until the huge maple tree was split in two right in front of us! From then on, we watched from inside, but still we watched. I taught my own kids not to fear storms, but to enjoy the show.

Ruth said...

How would Neruda chronicle these things, Dakota Bear? I so loved that artichoke poem of his you posted. His odes to simple things are such an inspiration.

We wait for spring through long, harsh winters, and we don't want our daffodils to wilt after just a day or two of bloom.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Literary Nut.

Ruth said...

Delphine, weeds! I was just noticing them in the woods (I don't know the name of the plant, up close it isn't pretty and doesn't flower) and was surprised how early they are growing. At least there I don't have to worry about weeding them out, they will just be green and pretty from a distance.

Ruth said...

Oh dear, Mystic, that must have been such a shock coming from India! (Still, it makes me smile picturing you staying in bed after a snowstorm.) You live in a gorgeous part of the country for spring there on the East Coast.

Ruth said...

Anet, I think your focus on Noah and his education helps you get out into Nature even more than you would yourself, though I know you love it for you. And I also imagine you learn new things while providing opportunities for him to learn. What a rich school you have found in Nature.

Ruth said...

Thank you, CottageGirl. And thank you for sharing your beautiful mother. Happy Birthday! I know it must be very difficult not to have her right now.

Ruth said...

Bob, I understand how it is, Don and I are opposites in many ways. But we are alike in the important ones. I hope you will find just the right time and place in the country. Imagine not having to drive to take moon shots!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ouu. a tour of Ireland... home of my ancestors.. I love the quaintness of it.. the green... the stone,, the sheep...it shows a struggle connected to this barren but beautiful landscape... an aged ruggedness... these are wonderful...

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kerri. I hope that salmon-flowering tree in your yard gives you visual and smelling for weeks to come.

CottageGirl said...

Merci, Ruth!
Very sweet of you!
How are the wedding plans?

Ruth said...

Barry, them's lovely words. Thank you.

Ruth said...

rauf, that is something to aspire to, thank you. You're right to include the Aveo. On my drives through farmland I have seen the seasons as never before.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Jean.

Ruth said...

Shoreacres, I never intended to travel to Ireland. Then I "had to" for work, and it was as wonderful as everyone who wants to go has said. Now I wonder why I didn't intend to?

Ruth said...

Good point, Lluvia, would I say no to a quick spring? Maybe not "no" - but I might send out a long, slow s-i-g-h.

Ruth said...

How nice, Pouty! Thank you for that.

Ruth said...

Thank you very much for that encouragement, C.M.. I looked up the book, and a reviewer at Amazon wrote:

"In STILLMEADOW ROAD, Taber diaries life in her Connecticut farmhouse, circa 1960. Perhaps the charm of her books is in the simplicity of the life she describes. Perhaps it's in her delight in words as well as in her existence. Certainly it's in the phrasing she uses, the verbal portraits she paints of her life, her dogs, her friends. Here is warmth and love and charm in print. Here are simple vignettes to warm the reader's heart and challenge her to find the same delight in life wherever she may be."

I think I need to look for Stillmeadow Road in my library.

Ruth said...

Esther, you're not alone in preferring dry and hot to warm and humid. My sister-in-law who moved to Colorado says the same. I confess I droop in the humidity too, and having lived in the LA area, the dry heat didn't feel as oppressive.

Ruth said...

So! Susie Q - ask me if I'm surprised! :D

We, too, watched storms from the big front porch! Maybe that is the key. I mean parents do model these things, don't they? My sister Ginnie told me a story that when she was little she was terrified of thunderstorms. She was visiting a friend when one hit, and the friend's mother stood behind her back and held her while they looked at it through the window. That calmed her and helped her get past the fear. Now she loves them!

(I'm probably not remembering some key element in the story. Maybe she'll come and tell us.)

Ruth said...

Ahh, Gwen, the photos of the barren wilderness of County Kerry, and in particular Killarney, are from hours in a horsetrap, feeling like Tess in Hardy. The legend of loving the land like that - talk about love of place!

Ruth said...

Thanks for asking, CottageGirl. The wedding plans are progressing just fine, no worries. In fact a caterer is locked in that is terrific and very economical - so we are quite pleased!

I'm looking at shoes at the moment. It's a bit of a challenge, because one doesn't want to wear dressy spike-heeled shoes in the grass, you know? Thankfully, this is the year of the wedge! :)

Nautankey said...

Shifting home is always fun especially when the new one is bigger :).Wish ur spring is the slowest

And the snaps on a bigger canvas
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36459135@N03

Loring Wirbel said...

We haven't really had winter yet, and here it is spring tomorrow. The usual response in Colorado is, "Well, the big blizzards come in March and April," but long-range forecasts don't show much indication of that.

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, wow the days are so long with the boys gone. I saw Andy's ex-girlfriend the other day,and I was flooded with memories. I enjoy my time,it's just such a change.I have time after work ,I can even stay at work if I wish. The cooking is minimal and the house stays so clean.I know this is all good and as it should be... I just read Corey's blog at tongue in cheek, she posted about her darling son. sigh. Thanks for the ear.

CottageGirl said...

I'm glad you found a caterer that serves good food at a great price. May I ask, what will you be serving?

Your shoe style selection will be perfect! Nothing like those skinny tall heels that get stuck in the soft ground!

Sandy said...

Great post ....I read you with longing for a similar life (not so much the snow but yes I would deal with it)...to have more and more of nature around me.

Ruth said...

Nautankey, thanks for the link, thems are gorgeous photos! Avalanche looks like a perfect getaway. I left you some comments over at flickr. Sounds like you and the gang are already looking at the next trip - - biking? Now that's nice and slow.

Ruth said...

Hmm, Loring, big blizzards in March and April, is that because of seasonal weather patterns shifting cold to warm and meeting over the Rockies and getting mad at each other?

Wow, that sounded technical, I should be a meteorologist.

Ruth said...

Cathy, maybe you look forward to starting the cycle again as I do with grandbabies? When you enjoy your children like that, you can't help but feel the hole when they're gone.

Ruth said...

Of course you may ask, CottageGirl. Lesley and Brian have ordered a "cook-out" - which includes 3 entrees: a vegetarian one, chicken and I think bratwurst (how cute is that?), then 5 sides. Before that, between the ceremony and dinner, there will be appetizers "butlered" on trays - how fancy! All this, and china, real flatware and linen napkins included in the excellent price. :D

Ruth said...

Oh, and the most important part of the meal: Lesley adores her grandma's potato salad (Don's mom's), so she has asked the caterer to make that recipe.

Ruth said...

Hi, Sandy! That house you posted recently in the valley was incredibly beautiful. I hope you can live in a place like that. Wow.

carl h. sr. said...

Such a beautiful picture you relate with your words and your camera Ruth. Makes me feel goo just to read what you write!
Peace to you,carl

carl h. sr. said...

darn-it. Good! not goo...

Loring Wirbel said...

Naw, I think it's just the way they do things in the Rockies. Snow gets stuck at the resorts during the winter months, and as they wind down in March and April, they push it all over the front range and on to the prairie. Sounds very scientific and dangerous.

Ginnie said...

I was just trying to remember, Ruth, if I have ever been to the Farm in Spring or Autumn? Summer and Winter, yes. I can imagine what you must be experiencing these longer, warmer days. Breathe. Just breathe!

CottageGirl said...

How lovely sounds delicious!

You have covered all the bases and included family favorites to boot with elegant presentation.

Check that off the long, long list!
Hope you find shoes!

Ruth said...

I'm so glad, Carl! Peace to you too. Wishing you health and strength.

Ruth said...

Loring, yes it does.

Ruth said...

Good advice, Boots, breathe it in. Absorb all that goodness.

Ruth said...

Thank you, CottageGirl.