Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The rhythm of rest
After market on Saturday, after sorting the vegetables, and fixing a late breakfast, I decided to stay away from the office. When work and office are at home it can be hard to leave it alone. Survival means doing things that need no justification. We should watch birds. Nap. We should make things. Something beautiful from stone or wool or flowers. Unnecessary. It should have no reason to exist other than to please the looker. It’s part of rest and restoration.
I remembered a neighbor lady whose entire yard is ringed with hydrangea shrubs. I wondered if she would part with some of those enormous round blossoms that turn minty green and rust in the fall. Kismet! She was in her yard when we drove past and generously let us have as many as we wanted. (We keep a pair of clippers in the car because you never know when you’ll find weeds that must be gathered, like teasel or cattails.)
For years an old butter churn sat in the laundry room, falling apart, gathering spider webs. I had no use for it, but couldn’t get rid of it. I don’t know why it took so long to understand it could hold a fall arrangement on the front porch. I glued parts together, tightened the screws and waited for it to dry. I put a brick in the bottom to hold it down when the wind blows and stole some of Honeysuckle’s sawdust bedding for ballast. I didn’t have much to work with. The fragile mounds of hydrangea blossoms needed contrast so the dark cattails tucked in among them lifted the design, but it still needed something. I couldn’t think what until I spied a small set of deer horns that had hung on a nail in the garage for years. Somehow it worked. The creamy hardness of the horns hanging down. Their pointy-ness. The jest of it. It’s part of rest and restoration.