this time of year, the light that filters through screens and windows and spills across worn wooden floors seems to change as fast as each new day that arrives. it seems more golden, somehow, more direct as it shoots its shafts of dancing mote beams through front windows that had for the length of summer provided nothing but welcome shade. i've moved my computer over to the edge of the windowed walls here in the front of my living room, where i can gaze out and see distant rippled mountains, where i can watch the maple tree just beyond the deck begin, slowly begin, to change its summer mantle. i start to see things in the earthier of colors: ochre, rust, moss green - and colors start to have a certain smell about them, in my quiet moments: the dry brown toasty smell of fallen leaves, the misty grey of rising smoke, the white of foggy dawn. out of my closet comes the clothing that reflects these things, in linen and cotton, silk and wool. i laugh as i write this, because most of that clothing is now out of that closet and spilling over into baskets and three suitcases as i wash and sort and pack for my trip to cooler portland.
most late mornings and on through the afternoon into early evening, you can find me sitting quietly before my studio table (with ever present aspen sprawled on the floor less than twelve inches behind me), glad for the little twinkling lights and tree branches that i placed in there last november, glad (mostly) for the snug size of the room, glad for the ability to work full time out of my home. i love seeing how the changing seasons are reflected in my work, how nature's pull on me comes through in everything i do. two days ago i received a lovely package from my beloved friend holly, the one who passionately lives winters in key west (and to whom i'll be eternally grateful for my adventure with billy collins and the key west literary seminar) and summers on the lake shores of michigan. holly used to own a delicious little boutique in key west - that's how we met, in fact, through my attending the new york gift show twice a year and through her ordering of my production jewelry line, back in the day - and shares with me a penchant for pawing through dusty antique shop drawers for hidden treasure. from time to time i get incredible packages from her, filled with antique dolls, velvet photo albums, mother of pearl buckles, antique beaded ribbon. sequins from france. thin balsam tags. ancient and tiny coin purses of leather, of petite point embroidery. old wooden type stamps depicting tiny winged creatures.
it's always christmas when holly's mail arrives. this time, her package held the latest jim harrison novel, and - yes - billy collins' new book of poetry. tucked deeper down into the padded envelope was a small wrapped envelope of the most delicious mother of pearl discs - and i immediately thought of the full harvest moon. see? it's there, hiding amongst the willow branches, hovering behind a silver heart. i love how the mother of pearl glistens when the shadowbox is turned this way and that, how the discs fit into the silver frames just so. when working with these slender quarter sized slivers of moonlight, i wondered how many hands had held them as they were harvested from the sea, cut into circles, passed from factory to merchant, from merchant to drawer, from drawer to antique dealer, from dealer to holly and finally to me. and i wonder, too, around whose neck this ornament will hang, with its quiet history, with its hushed ode to the nighttime, to the seasons, to the round and splendid moon. xo