I hiked slowly, slower than my Good companions, watching my feet. The ground was covered with moss, crunchy leaves, and white-peach and ashen bends of fallen birch bark. I gathered the bark not knowing why. The next day I waded waist deep into Lake Sunapee, lifting out tiny rafts of birch bark dimpling the water's surface.
I closed my eyes, trying to envision myself: an artist. To my surprise, there was a paintbrush in my hand instead of a camera... I was standing before a wall-sized canvas and applying thick, grand strokes of red over muted greens and yellows. Paint was dripping everywhere. Where this image came from seemed less important than where it would lead.
A perfect plant stand on the side of the road. I picked it up and began to walk away.
"Are you an artist?" a man hollered from across the street.
Jill and I exchanged a look, afraid we'd been caught steeling, and I shouted back "I am!"
He invited us into his building promising art supplies and we followed him into a windowless whitewashed storage room full of things he was done owning. It was a trove housing an armful of things I would take home.... a tackle box full of paint- acrylics in over a dozen shades, brushes (mostly unused), knives, thinner, palates, a low-end juicer. And a plant stand.
Cobi and I moved into a beautiful rental in mid-July. Here are some pictures I took in our garden yesterday. We're all unpacked and fully enjoying the literal fruits of our landlords' work. It is a joy to live here.