Sunday, February 01, 2009


another January in the books, as it were

I'm not one to wish time away - life is altogether too fleeting - but I do admit to feeling happiness, at least in a stolid yankee manner of being, that this long cold snowy January has finally passed by. I celebrated by ordering some seeds from Fedco today. Though looking out the dining room window toward the garden, or more accurately the area where I suspect the garden to be, when it is actually just a view of half an acre of pure white, is slightly disheartening. Well, all the more reason to plan for a wall of sweet peas for beauty, corn and potatoes and carrots and onions for winter storage, a huge basil patch for immediate greedy consumption, and nasturtiums by the kitchen door for cheer. I turned over a new leaf in my gardening journal, literally, by writing the first entry for 2009 today. I can hardly say what it means to me to tend a garden after twenty years of apartment living. After one full growing season, I'm nowhere near used to it. But we can settle on deeply satisfying.

In my book room, a tangled and sustaining garden of a different kind, I've been reassessing and sorting this month. Trying to hold on to some order. What with moving here, then moving the remnants of the bookshop here, some ossified layers seem to have mysteriously formed. It's a mess. And I can't stand untidy books. I'm firmly in the camp of good care and order. Anything less than that upsets them. (The books.) But the trouble is, as I'm working, I inevitably stop to browse and read among my old friends, and awaken an hour later wondering what I thought I was trying to accomplish in the first place. Yesterday I quickly gave up and took a short stack of books into the other room so I could comfortably sit and look at all the pictures again - at the top of the pile were three by Fitzroy Maclean: Back to Bokhara, To Caucasus, and The Back of Beyond (about Mongolia). I've heard that some people actually take vacations this time of year, to, you know, make more Vitamin D or something. But right now I can only travel in my books. So I'll toss another log on the fire, look out again at the snowy garden, and report that Samarkand is lovely this time of year.

Yep, at 2750, Samarkand is still doing OK:
Beautiful pictures... thank you -
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