He who would travel happily must travel light.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose birthday it is today. And it may be much-welcome advice for those struggling to get out of town.
If you have been following this blog for a while, you may recall that in April my daughter and I took a kidney bean from a big jar of kidney beans in our kitchen and set it in moist cotton, whereupon it sprouted, after which we planted it in the garden. Lo and behold, it grew into a bean plant, blossomed, and brought forth brand-new kidney beans. I realize that this is not a discovery original to us, but somehow it was just as thrilling as if it were.
Part of a series I painted when we vacationed each summer at the beach. We hope there’s more of that down the road.
My husband’s surgery went smoothly. Now it’s time to rest and heal. Many, many thanks, dear ones, for all your kind words and healing thoughts, for emailing and calling and visiting the hospital and taking care of our daughter and providing sorbets for his sore throat!
A trip to the Mall with my daughter, who invariably offers thoughtful commentary on her surroundings, whatever they may be.
I post this sketch in honor of her half-birthday today. Long ago, when the children were tiny and each week seemed to mark another milestone, we developed the habit of celebrating their half-birthdays every year, as if they weren’t already sufficiently doted upon… But it’s a modest celebration, with a candle in a pancake, a little package beside the plate, and a rousing round of “Happy Half-Birthday.”
Tomorrow my husband is scheduled for heart surgery. Here he is a couple of years ago, reading a boatbuilding book, because until his heart problem was diagnosed he was (when he had time) in the process of building a small wooden boat and restoring another. I am trying not to be anxious, and we are all hoping surgery will go well enough that he can eventually return to this project he so loves. Please send your good thoughts and healing wishes his way.
I hate to tell you how old this drawing is—it dates from my freewheeling pre-parenthood days. But I selected my sketch of the ancient stone calendar in honor of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, a day on which you have the greatest amount of daylight to deck yourelf and your doorway with flowers, bathe in the local river, build and leap across a bonfire, and any other of various joyful means to celebrate light, fertility and the perpetuation of life. Happy Summer!