June 4: In a lovely convergence of vacation days, my friend Kathy and I greeted summer together today. First, we wandered the galleries of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC — and laughingly shook off the five-minute downpour exactly coinciding with our walk to the car. Chasing the bluing sky, we headed to the waterfront. We slipped into the perfect parking spot and two charming seats at the Salt Line bar. We sipped the breezes along with our drinks, and admired the sun’s sparkle on the river. Everyone seemed so happy, and we contributed our share.
June 5: In the cool of the morning, I walked to the farmers market. Untroubled by recipes and possibilities (I am by no means a cook), I cheerfully admired the vegetables’ colors and textures, content to watch. Soon, however, my canvas bag held kale, scallions and beets with their greens. And, yes, basil-spearmint soap and two apple turnovers. The frilly abundance of the garden peeked from my bag as I walked home. My bag, not my kitchen, was their apogee; and that was just fine.
June 6: I sat today in a church sanctuary, at last. We are redeemed by water and the Spirit, the rector said. Today’s worship, in community (and in masks), was soft rain for my parched soul. My heart leapt to savor the youth readers, the lighted tapers, and the choir’s Cantate Domino resonating from the nave. I exchanged gestures of peace with scattered congregants and took Communion. I immersed myself in prayer and thanksgiving, and my heart exploded. From the aisles in benediction, the choir’s voices soared: “Let the amen/sound from his people again; gladly forever/ adore him.” By then my soul was watered with my own tears.
June 7: True confession: I’m now fully immersed in the quirky (and delightful) Netflix story of a young South Korean fashion CEO and a North Korean army captain who find a way — with the help of loyal village women and honorable fellow soldiers — to outwit all the bad guys (and find a way to be together??). Don’t tell me; I’m not finished with Crash Landing on You. But I bet I’ll watch it all again very soon. Note: the independent bookseller near you can recommend lots more than your next read or bar of chocolate. Thanks, Eileen!
June 8: I think memories qualify as a delight. Two years ago on this date, Jeremiah, Nate and two friends joined me for a picnic on the grounds of the Patapsco Female Institute in Maryland. Among the stabilized ruins of the 19th century building, we ate sausages, sipped lemonade, played “Sushi Go” and waited for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production of MacBeth to begin. As night fell, we followed the players in and out of the ruins and stood with them through bloodshed, banquets and madness. We won a bottle of wine in the raffle and played with the props. And now, visiting the theatre company’s website, I see Shakespeare-in-the-ruins returns this summer. I’m in. Who’s with me?
June 9: My neighborhood birds now dine freely at the feeder outside my window, untroubled by chipmunks or deer. They linger long enough for me to study their beauty. I admire the nuthatch’s sleek black cap that cascades over its back and highlights its snowy breast and throat. The finch’s ruby eyebrows and kerchief give way to a smudge of red where its wings meet, like wine splattered on a well-used cloth. And the blue jay, far bigger than proper for such delicate company, struggles to find purchase on the tiny foot rest. It contorts itself into an oxbow to pluck a seed, its wings flared right and left around the narrow feeding tube. Too uncomfortable, I think, to gorge, the jay flies off. And back come ruby, brown and black & white to nibble just a bit more.
June 10: I love a sun shower. Not just because it hints of rainbows, but also because of the yellow-green filter it passes over the sunlight, urging me to see things anew. And also because the rain and the sun, playing together, are like joy and sorrow — inseparable if looked at in the right way.
Insight: Fashioned For Joy reader Thistles & Kiwis asked me last week about the mask I was wearing in our bookstore. In replying to her, I had this insight: In a very kind way, our exuberance to be in community is enriched by our rekindled caring for each other. I think our masks are saying, “Even though I may feel safe, I care for you. And I want you to feel safe too.”
Readers, if you’d like to browse my past essays, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. To receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, share the Delight!