i live in a place so incredibly beautiful that sometimes i actually say out loud to none other than my own two ears, you live here. yes you do. it is a magical place throughout the year - the greens of spring and summer, the riotous amber/red/yellow colors of fall - but i think that the most beautiful time of all here must be in the throes of barren winter, when the bones of the land are more evident to the eyes, when the throngs of tourists have all gone home, when i can walk the river trail with walter and take my time poking around on pebble beaches without having to run into anyone other than the rare fly fisherman who stands out in the middle of frigid water. i don't stand out in that water this time of year; it's nice to see someone else, though, quietly fishing the slow and easy and ballet-like way, waving a line out over the ripples and the stones, back and forth, back and forth, looping and swishing and finally landing on a ripply surface before the fisherman moves on down the middle of the river. i don't mind seeing that, i don't mind the quiet of that. not at all. i hope they don't mind seeing a woman and her dog, walking by.
i can't stop myself from using my phone for a quick photograph, or from pushing a little button a few times to make what i've captured look like i have stepped back into a gentler time. my own time is gentle, and i don't need a special feature to tell me that, but the ease is irresistable. i cannot help myself. this looks like how i feel: quiet. toned down. reflective. the winter girl, in quiet soft repose. when i come home from our walks at the river, a walk that takes us through the woods and down to an old log structure past a crooked fence, then back along the river's roots, back under the white pine trees, back to the car that carries us down beautiful roads again, i'm in a better place, always. things are clearer, then. they are. i can't more highly recommend a walk to do that for one's soul. and right now, those muted tones of oncoming winter are drawing me deeper into the gathered antique laces and trimmings of the studio baskets and drawers, into the blue colors that come seeping through when afternoon is quickly beginning to fade.
i haven't had the inclination to pull out christmas decorations here, this year; i won't have anyone coming to firefly to celebrate the season, as the boys will be traveling briefly straight to alabama before winging their way back to jobs, to new lives they've carved out so many hundreds and thousands of miles away. but, two nights ago i went down to the basement and pulled out my silly little silver tinsel tabletop tree, bunched some of that antique lace up under those shiny boughs for some sort of snowy skirt, and this morning i made for myself from scratch a cup of salted caramel latte. why not? it was a treat to sit with the little tree and watch the light slowly spread across the table as the sun peeked up above the eastern ridge.
(lovely cup by my friend julie whitmore)
i have in the last few days been working on the designs for a limited edition line of my watch fob clasp pendants - pretty little hand engraved sterling things in teal blue and cream, strung with a bit of antique tatting, rhinestones and faceted czech glass for sparkle, some soft cream batting on the back with dangling aged brass Xs and Os for good measure. i think they make lovely ornaments for either one's neck or for a christmas tree, a door knob, tied to a bigger gift. there are a number of them - they all say "love" - and when they're gone, they're gone. picture them hooked to your favorite string of cut glass or pearls, or threaded onto a length of sepia tatting. they'd look lovely connected to one of my watch fob chains, as well.
the watch fob at top swivels; when these are worn, the pattern is different for front and for back - a nice little touch, i think. i spent hours and hours trying to come up with the final touches, and the Xs and Os came to me yesterday afternoon at the river. both the sterling floral discs (cast all the way back in 1996) and the brass letters are things that surfaced again when the studio was turned upside down and rightside up again. i'll always remember how the final touches of these came about: love with water, and walking, and walter, and sticks and stones and that beautiful, beautiful river.
so then, a blue christmas. i am reminded here, in writing this, in looking over my photographs, of one of my favorite songs. this time it is sung anew by a man for whom i've always felt a little patter. listen to him singing, and look at the photograph below. and then you'll know what is in my heart and in my memories today. and your heart can break along with mine from all that tender beauty.
pendants are available for a limited time in my etsy shop, here.