Saturday, April 21, 2012

Early morning in the valley

"Want to cycle the fields early tomorrow morning?"

I bribed my friend Becky with a promise of homemade pecan caramel rolls and we set out as the sun rose.

Crisp morning air. 
Birds singing.

Soon we were biking along the fields of dewy tulips just as the sun came over the Cascades.

The tourists hadn't arrived yet. 

There were a few professional photographers and the field workers but other than that we had the beauty to ourselves.

The fields stretched in vibrant colors... I fell in the mud, slipping as we pumped our way across the slick puddley farm track. 

Truth be told, I was probably so dazzled by those fields that I wasn't paying enough attention.

Then out across the valley again, past fields of berries and cabbages, past barns and tractors...
 toward home.

Life in the Skagit Valley.

For me, truly there's no place like home.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The miracle of spring... again.

It happens every year. The miracle of brilliant color.

Bold, bright, primary color.

Bold enough that even the reflections are stunning.

And it happens right in my own backyard.

If I didn't know better, I'd think this was Holland, not my own neighborhood.
This is a miracle that stuns me every spring.

You should come see it with your own eyes.

Skagit Valley in the spring.
Pure magic.

Even the mud puddles are gorgeous.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Living color

Sometimes ordinary life is so extraordinary you can't believe this is your eyes-wide-open life. 

You know... it's that sensation of dreaming in living color.
For real.

It happens to me every spring, just as the tulips bloom.

I snapped the leash on our sweet yellow lab yesterday and went jogging all alone in the tulips.

Yes, that's right.

All alone.

Nobody else was there.

All that brilliant color. All to ourselves.
It was the ultimate luxury.

What is it about sunlight through the petals?
And the contrast of elegant blooms paired with the muddy fields and the rustic barns?

Always the barns. They are part of the land and so right.
I can't get enough of barns.

How is it that weathered wood is so gorgeous?

Soon I am through the fields, still breathless with wonder, and enjoying the beauty of the river and fields being plowed.
How blessed I am to call this valley home!

I jog along a river bank spangled with dandelions, down the little road to our own garden.

Back to the wonders of our own back yard.

The heirloom pear in bloom.
Potatoes and strawberries sprouting in their beds.
Weeds growing merrily. 

May our hearts rejoice. It's spring at last,  and joy spilling over.

If you looked over the back fence, you'd have seen me, shovel in hand, dancing with the dogs, Mr. Wonderful laughing in the background.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Color of the day: green!

Just today, it seems that suddenly bare limbs are coated with leaves in that fresh yellowy green color that is my favorite hue in all the world.

We're surrounded by a sea of leafy green!

It's impossible to stop smiling when you're surrounded by green. 
Don't you feel it's the happiest of colors?

Everything seems so fresh... so alive in spring.

Forgive me for gushing, but there's something about the scent of plowed damp fields and bursting buds and leaves that makes a me a little spring-crazy. 

And grateful I live in a rural valley.

The first buds of sour cherry and white bleeding heart and the wild orca pear are out this morning and new patches of violets are springing up like weeds.

Even the dandelions and clover seem to be celebrating the blue sky.

 Couldn't you just do a happy dance around the kitchen, or better yet the garden?

It's the crazy getting-ready-for-another-New York-show season around here. 

The to-do list is crazy-long. 
And yet this color of green makes me feel that somehow I can, I will, I'm stuffed with ideas!

Spring-time is the season of newness, of hope, of emerging leaves and ideas. 

Spring green. Best color of them all!

Can't you almost feel your inner self budding along with the leaves?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The shape that changed history

When Kitty and I were in Greece, we kept noticing the drama of the crosses.

The cross. 

The shape that will be forever recognized for the way it divided history.

And it has divided my own life's history into a distinct before and after, too.

So on this day when we celebrate that victory

I wanted to share just a few of the crosses that inspired me in Greece.

In all history, no other shape has spelled death and life in the way the cross has.

And even to this very day, it is a symbol that some allow to divide people.
No other shape has been so misunderstood.

For me, celebrating Easter is all about the beauty of this simple, ugly beautiful symbol. 

Happy Easter, friends!