Kage Baker was particularly susceptible to spring fever.
When the vernal equinox approached and began to manifest – that was when she was most likely to drop everything and take off. She’d have the urge to find some newly green place, beginning to inhale the softer airs and breathe out perfume; she’d settle down and just absorb the atmosphere.
I think she photosynthesized. God He knows, her hair was photo-reactive. At the end of winter it would be a fairly flat dark red, maybe even dulled down to a russet brown. But give it 24 hours in the equinoctial sunlight, and all sorts of colours began to come up in it. Every conceivable shade of red, even the metallics usually found in model car paint: maroon, burgundy, crimson, scarlet, garnet. Pink. Strands of gold like fine-drawn wire; strands as burning white as salt. All hot colours, all flame colours. Not especially human colours at all … but redheads have always been suspected of that.
The same sun would bring up rose and scarlet in her cheeks, and make all her thousands of freckles glow like drops of bronze. No hint of a tan, of course. Kage never tanned.
And the new spring warmth and sun didn’t exactly inspire her to mad energy, either. Spring cleaning was not a visitor in our home, unless it was finally unpacking the suitcases from Dickens Fair … no, Kage was given to long dreamy fits of boneless langour. She’d take in all that new season energy in the air and light, and refine it in a decorous silence to some herb as rare and rich as saffron; a pinch of powdered gold and silk gathered from 10,000 nodding blossoms. Like saffron, too, it lasted a long time, and a very little bit flavoured thousands and thousands of dishes.
The air is warm today. Within a handful of days, it’s expected to be in the insane and unseasonable 90’s; I’ll be confined to the house during daylight hours, only venturing out with the other crepuscular life forms after the new sun is down. But there are new leaves and buds on everything right now; the wisteria is blooming, the plums are swelling on all three trees in the back yard, the bottle brush has scarlet blooms as big as squirrels and all the roses are unfurling tiny blood-red leaves.
It won’t be technically Spring for a week. But I can already feel that luxuriant tide of stillness and expectation, that irresistible urge to sit in some cool green place and just … breathe.
Which is what I am going to go and do, Dear Readers. Time for a fresh pear and a cup of water with orange blossoms in it, watching the sky turn silver and lilac in the West; time for some Vaughn Williams and a sprig of fresh mint to chew.
Time to break out the runcible spoon. See you all later, by the light of the moon.
‘The Lark Ascending’ gets my vote.
I’ll try to post a picture of the bottle brush tree in our back yard. Mike and Astrid were married beneath it, a few years ago.
The Lark Ascending” was precisely the piece in my mind when I wrote that. And I’ll try to take photo, too, although it is something at which I am apocalyptically bad.
Time to get the garden prepped before it grows too infernally hot. I put strawberries in the hanging planter & am plotting the renewal of garden herbs, having cleared the pots of last year’s detritus.
Tomatoes! Going to TomatoMania next weekend, for our usual dozen plants. Then some lettuces, and some cucumbers, and the plums – the orchard is now up to three trees.