Monday, June 7, 2010

iris, peak season, how fleeting life is

OK--I  had several different blog posts I was going to write--I'll do them later--but sometimes life just intervenes in ways that you can't anticipate. Writing about it can be a way for me to make any sense of a series of events that just happen--even when I don't see it at the time.

So let me tell you a bit about yesterday. Sunday. There was finally some rain--it has been really dry here--so my DH and I  moved some ferns from a lawn that will get mowed to an area he had just cleared of downed trees. It needed something and looked great. Then I headed to my studio in Shelburne Falls--another order to finish. The town was hopping with tourists though the weather seemed to be one of those days of rain--wind--sun--in endless repetition.

I ignored the weather and was finishing the quilt when I noticed that one block just did not work. The colors were just wrong. Grrr!!!! Was it just me--no, it didn't work. Now there is nothing I hate more than fixing a quilt. It is tedious work that always feels like a waste of time. When I am almost done with a quilt, I want to move on and work on something else. Instead I have to painstakingly pick out the stitches, make the piece right and then put it all back together again. It always takes twice as long as I intend. Grr!!!! I put it up on my design board.  Maybe the quilt will work if I wait a few minutes.

Now it so happened there was an open garden just a few miles away--peak season--this is a garden I have heard about for years. At the iris show I went to last week-end she had some of the most beautiful flowers.  Tiptoe through the rain drops. Sure. I needed a break. I could just sneak off--come back in an hour and then fix the quilt.

Yes, the gardens were absolutely lovely--even though the rains came while I was there. Huge clumps of absolutely exquisite iris in full bloom. Blooms in colors I had never seen before. Each one more beautiful than the next. The gardens absolutely perfectly manicured. Paths covered in fresh straw. All the flowers labeled. I was in awe and resolved while I was fixing the quilt to get up early the next morning and establish at least some semblance of order in my gardens at the studio. I must do more weeding. Though I also felt a bit of sorrow--peak season on June 6. Summer has not yet begun.

Last night as I was planning the work I would do in my garden I heard that a friend's husband had died suddenly. Now I didn't know them as well as I could have--until I saw his obituary I didn't know just how famous he was--but still I considered them friends. I saw them at craft fairs. She is a wonderful fiber artist--if we were both at a craft fair by ourselves, we would go out to eat together. Maybe once or twice a year I would see them. If her daughter or mother were helping her at a fair, they would stop by my booth and chat in slow moments. If her husband was at a show waiting so sweetly to help take down her booth, he would drop by to pass the time. When I needed advice how to proceed with an architectural commission, I asked him--he wrote about architecture and he knew his material backwards and forwards. And his advice was good and helped me get the commission.

So when I learned he had died so suddenly it really hit me. I had just seen them a month or so ago--they had dropped by my studio before splurging at the best restaurant in town. We chatted about writing, blogs, craft shows, their kids, how much dinner would cost but they just had to try it.  They did know how to enjoy life.  It was too close, too sudden. I hugged my DH hard last night.

This morning I went to my garden to dig out a few iris and day lilies to take down to the studio. And while I was up there working, I realized that I just had to post a few pictures of iris from my garden to show my deepest sympathies for Sally, Christopher and Catherine at the loss of their  David.  How fleeting life is--how short the iris season is. They should be enjoyed  now.