These days I\’m storing up sunshine like a squirrel stores nuts. I don\’t know that I can really store sunshine (maybe in the form of Vitamin D?), but at least I can store up the memory of it. On second thought, forget that. I know that it is impossible, on a sleety January day, to recall how it feels to sit in the warm sun.
Regardless, I sat outside on the sunny patio stripping lavender for a while this morning. I have quite a harvest this year. My plants, which I placed up against the stone wall in front of the house, made it through their first Vermont winter, thanks no doubt to being snuggled under a thick duvet of snow, their backs against the sun-warmed stones.
Normally, I don\’t strip lavender, but roughly chop the stems and throw the whole thing into potpourri. This year, however, I want to make lavender-filled eye pillows, and the stems might feel a little rough against the eyelids of my loved ones–not to mention my own eyelids–so I\’m having to separate the blossoms from the stems. It\’s a slow, repetitive task, but if you\’re olfactorily fixated like me, you don\’t mind it.
While I worked, Wolfie and Bisou passed the stick du jour back and forth to each other. The bird feeder was right behind me, so I could hear the flutterings of the chickadees as they landed and took off, and also the bulletins they sent out (i.e., tweets) as to their location and activities. \”Just arrived at feeder for lunch,\” \”Dropped a seed!\” \”Stopped on chicken-house roof to check dog locations,\” and on and on.
Replace the flaming maples with gnarled olive trees and the chickadees with hoopoes (you can see them here) but keep the sun, the cobalt sky and the scent of lavender, and I could have been somewhere on the foothills of the Pyrenees.
Then a chilly breeze came up, and I came back to Vermont. I gathered up my lavender, called the dogs, and went inside.