Waves of color at sunrise and sunset, undulating curves imprinted upon salt marsh grasses by since-stilled winds. Rainbow glass swirled into peaks and valleys. Frozen waves of sun-gilded snow. Sky art formed by colorful canvas spun by wind into billowing swells.
After a winter that wasn’t after all without end, a first wave of flowers came in crocus form: dazzling white, lavender, and bright yellow. Almost as quickly as they sprouted they were gone, replaced by a blitz of daffodils, followed by swaths of lipstick sunset tulips.
Suddenly it is August, and every few days it seems a new platoon of flora cycles through. Delightfully descriptive “curly fries” Hosta plants wave in a light wind. Today is a riot of pastel hydrangea and sturdy day lilies, their gracefully ruffled petals edged in a sea-foam of sunlight and shadow.
I don’t know what it is about waves.
A wave tickled my heel as I faltered in reading a poem about a turtle to my children a year after their father died. The next year, just after a seashell of his ashes wafted into the ocean in Dublin, a gentle wave deposited at my bare toes a patch of seaweed in his trademark green, framed around a distinct heart-shaped space.
Perhaps inspiration comes from waves’ movement and light and soothing rhythm, like a heartbeat or a summer bird’s song.
“We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.”
In Lois Lowry’s “The Giver,” a character makes the transition from a world of black and white to one where he can see color. It begins with an apple. Gradually it dawns on the reader that the sea change being described is the ability to see red.
On this frigid, snowy first day of spring, I feel like I’m travelling in the other direction: ruby berries, a cloudless cerulean sky, cinnamon-dusted ochre branches, and a soft gold feathered mask . . .
All of them are black and white, still steeped in deep winter.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an impossibly charming city, packed with colonial and Victorian homes. Many downtown buildings are brick, with gleaming hunter green or black wooden shutters and doors. Others are fronted with wood clapboards. Painted a few shades darker are tastefully monochromatic front doors in appropriately Puritan shades ranging from cream through the grays and into an occasional green. Subtle pastels coexist among genteel structures.
And then there’s this: Miss Personality. A blaze of neon rainbow in a muted New England waterfront.