Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rejoicing in Sunlight

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
Henri Frédéric Amiel, Swiss philosopher and poet (1821-1881)

Looking down my spirit leapt up as I realized that I was seeing sunlight on the station's platform. I've seen snow and I've seen rain. Today I finally saw the sun. Nor was I alone in celebrating: three sailboats danced on the lake, as did the ball players on the diamonds, as my train whizzed by. May everyone celebrate seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quilts in the Gardens

Within our sitting room a table stood,
Made by my father out of cherry wood,
On which thru summer day and winter night
A basket rested full of patches bright;
And from those scraps of variegated shades
My mother planned the many quilts she made,
From muslin and cretonne by some deft spell
Forming the flowers she loved so well;
The crimson tulip and the wild rose, too,
Were fashioned, each in its own shape and hue;
The drooping lily bent its modest head,
The pink carnations' perfume seemed to shed.

Mom and I enjoyed the Halton Quilters' Guild biennial show held at the Royal Botanical Gardens. One of my favourite quilts in the show was the lovely "In Full Bloom" created by Lisa Caron in honour of her parents 50th wedding anniversary. Pictured here is but one panel of a joyful creation.

In addition to the new creations, collector Gerald Fagan exhibited a dozen or so antique quilts including one from Atwood, Ontario, and created in 1895. I thought the quotation suited both flowers and quilts: "which maketh joy abound and comforteth the weary."

Oft from the brass-bound chest her quilts I take,
And from their folds the scented herb leaves shake;
Then on her own great, square four-post bed
The cunning labor of her hands I spread;
With lingering caress I softly touch
The beauty, oddly quaint, she prized so much,
While memory brings back the homely room
Where those bright blocks of flowers flamed in bloom.

Now for long years her patient toil is o'er;
Her quilt hands create her dreams no more;
Beneath a quilt of pinks and lilies too--
The prototypes from which her patterns grew--
She rests in peace. There, while she calmly sleeps, God's mystic coverlet above her creeps.

This be my faith: That some day I shall see
Life's complex pattern growing plain to me;
That somewhere I shall clearly understand
The great design worked by the Master's hand;
And that somehow love's thread may reunite
Our broken lives into a fabric bright,
And in celestial arabesques restore
The ties that bind us here on earth no more.
"My Mother's Quilts" by Carrie O'Neal preserved in The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Walk of Discovery

All walking is discovery. On foot we take the time to see things whole.
Hal Borland, American journalist and author (1900-1978)

At lunchtime the Sun was shining -- for once -- and my spirit was itching to escape from the hermetically sealed office tower. A colleague pointed me in the direction of a park and I ventured out against a brisk easterly wind to find the place where she sits in the summer to watch people with their dogs. My mind pictured a little green lawn surrounded by a few benches and many office towers. So imagine my surprise, and delight, to find a wide swath of natural forest just a few blocks away from the office.

What a wonderful discovery to find a walking trail lined with "Spring Beauties" and chirping birds!

Taking a closer look at what I think are Siberian Squill, I inhaled their lovely light perfume and the beauty of Spring. My little lunchtime walk refreshed my spirit. Weather permitting, I plan to venture further and discover more along these paths of discovery.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Dawn

In spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed a faint red and wisps of purplish cloud trail over them. 
Sei Shōnagon, Japanese author and lady-in-waiting to Empress Teishi (c. 966-1017)

Hello. Yes I am still here. A major event at work is now successfully put to bed and so I raise my head to enjoy the view of a Spring dawn during the morning commute and am able to share it with you just before resting it upon night's pillow. Thank you for biding with me.