Yesterday we had the fourth salon in our debut 08-09 winter season. It coincided with a day-long fall of wet, sticky snow. Some people canceled, but a number of hardy souls assaulted our long, steep driveway and arrived unharmed.
Tim and Lynda played recorder-flute duets from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. We drank red wine and ate Vermont cheese and listened as the snow fell and fell. The musicians stood in front of our porch\’s tall windows, so that from the living room they were silhouetted against a background of woods whose every twig was outlined in white. Closer to the house, finches, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches and one fabulous cardinal fluttered around the feeder. The snow fell, the music wove ribbons around our souls, and we marveled that such pleasures were so freely and easily available to us. Chamber music doesn\’t get any better than this.
At the end of the program we demanded an encore. Then Tim and Lynda put away their instruments and we sat and told silly stories and laughed until dark.
It\’s been—still is—a long winter. But the salons have helped lighten the mood. They have featured friends and neighbors who do interesting things: a breeder of prize-winning Romney sheep, a dairy farmer turned politician, a painter who makes a living from her work, and our two musicians. The next salon will coincide with the start of mud season, a time when Vermonters badly need a shot of something—energy, optimism, laughter—to get them through to spring. We\’ll have no problem finding an attraction. There are adventurous cheese-makers, writers, sculptors, glass-blowers and milliners within a stone\’s throw of our front door.
Then spring will come and every last one of us—sculptor, writer, glass-blower, hat-maker, painter and shepherd—will disappear into our vegetable garden, there to hold our own salons with the earthworms, the seedlings, and that most hallowed guest, the toad.