Thursday, June 28, 2012

desk, mid-summer

I cleaned out my office on the Summer Solstice.  It is a primarily a summer office, so somehow that seems appropriate.  Truly comfortable for three seasons, this little structure flanks the rose garden, a little structure that I've written about many times before because it was acquired with our house many years ago and has gone through many phases and many aspects. 

A prefabricated potting shed that was painted barn red with white trim, it started its life here on the edge of a meadow as an outbuilding to house baby lambs, to keep them from the midnight-roaming coyote up here on the edge of the Chateauguay.  And because of its original use it has retained its original name of "the lamb house", the "the" getting dropped somewhere along the way as it shifted from garden shed with one meager window and a plank door painted slate gray, to a studio with old paned windows and French doors to a studio/guest house with a new stronger-than-Zeus roof and sweet-colored shingles and a pale celadon trim.  It is now just known as Lamb House and ought to really have some kind of marker like an historical plaque to give it pride of place.

The Summer Solstice was late to clean off my desk, to hang some pictures, to sweep the floor.  I should have tidied up at the Vernal Equinox, a day and week this very year that sported eighty degree and sunny days.  But a gale had blown out the glass of one of the windows during the winter, splintering window onto the floor, and leaving the little building open to the elements until we realized what had happened and sealed up the opening with heavy clear tarp.  The replacement of the window would herald the cleaning out of the studio, but typical to procrastinating natures, somehow the window replacement kept getting pushed behind the schedule of pruning of the vines and fruit trees, the planting of the new vines, the weeding of the rose garden, the seeding of the starts, the steeping of plant teas, the wards against Japanese beetles.

Until last week when there was a brief lull in the constance of activity that marks our summer season, it was realized that the plastic tarp and new glass did not matter.  Procrastination was set aside and the need to tidy over-ruled.

So here I am a week and a day later, sitting at my currently overly-organized desk (how long will this last?) looking out over garden beds a bit wild with an abundance of June roses, the almost blooming mullein, the too-early blooming tiger lillies, white daisies swaying in what has turned out to be a rather breezy day.  Stacks of wine books edge the end of my desk, this desk really not "mine", something borrowed and something blue from a friend.  Next to the books is a vase of still-blooming bed-straw from the vineyard, bishops weed and wild rose from a forgotten garden.  The rose petals have already started to fall, leaving behind their perfumed confetti.

There are new stories to tell: the planting of rare white beans from the mountains of Liguria smuggled home under the pretense of dried goods, the arrival of a docile hive of bees that now reign at the top of the vineyard, the harvest of the first roses to make the versatile and fragrant rose syrup.  Now there is a desk wide and open, like what used to be the beckoning of a blank, white page.  But blank, white pages can also paralyze all thought and all language.  Instead, rough board surface tinted with the remnants of old paint from another place far away, somewhere in the hot climes of a village in Mexico, the desk welcomes.

-Deirdre 

1 comment:

itztru said...

Deirdre, Still look forward to reading your posts. Wish you would write more often. Hope all is well and that perhaps there is a new book in the works on your mid-summer desk!