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.
I have always been afraid of stepping on saints . . . .but more about that later.
If there is one thing about the merry side of Christmas that will forever be intertwined with my husband Jim, it is the eye twinkle. My husband was svelte and clean-shaven, where Santa is hirsute and on the husky side, and gives little hint of a diet outside my own preferred one of milk and cookies. But they share a patented twinkle. Continue reading “Don’t Step on the Saints!”
A cousin’s comment on that post has had me thinking about another essay in the same book, concerning what we take to be coincidental: “I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know. Who can say what it is that’s going on, but I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: ‘You’ve turned up in the right place at the right time. You’re doing fine. Don’t ever think that you’ve been forgotten.’”
Well, it may be wishful thinking on my part, but perhaps I did show up in the right places at the right times today.
I heard whispers and roars, and was led into color and light.
It began early in the morning, as a dollop of sun hit a spot on the floor as light streamed through the outline of a flowering tree Jim had planted. I felt my breath catch when I looked down and saw dancing upon my bare foot a single bright segment of sunlight, quavering from a morning breeze that had shaken the tree through which it shined, forming a shimmering arrow laced with leaves. It pointed me outside, towards that sepia swath I described only weeks ago.
The swath is not sepia anymore.
Only handfuls of straw stalks remain at bottom edges where they are being pushed out by broad, healthy leaves which exuberantly have erupted to replace the sadly drooping flora I had been unable to envision recovering green.