Spring And Friday

Kage Baker loved Fridays.

She imprinted on weekends very early in life, long before Fridays and Mondays became the school-arbitrated doorwards for the Country of Weekends. Friday meant the next day was Saturday, and that meant morning cartoons! Kage in her youth was one of those little kids who rise with sun into a blur of activity – her mother told stories of her being found at dawn in the living room with a bowl of cereal, engrossed in Mighty Mouse or Popeye or Beany and Cecil. Sometimes she had whoever was the newest baby sibling in her lap, giving them their bottle.

Weekends were eternities of delight in private worlds. Even if the main glory was just NO SCHOOL, it still meant hours and hours to roam the hills, exploring ruins and hidden copses, finding wild crystal outcroppings,  and interesting fruit in neighbors’ gardens. By the time we were both teenagers, we would spend all weekends at these shank’s mare adventures, usually ending up at the Hollywood Bowl with a pizza in Kage’s purse (they fold, you know), waiting for her mother to come pick us up before it got dark and the monsters came out.

By the time we were grown women, we had discovered the Renaissance Faire. We ran away with the gypsies every weekend then, to live in another dimension. Time dilation made those glorious weekends last about a fortnight each. It was the closest Kage had ever found to time travel; she was convinced that her serious writing began under their influence, in that other universe, under those oak trees and those skies of multi-coloured banners.

Weekends were Where It Happened. They were the X on the map. They were where the Snows of Yesteryear got to, what was behind the Second Star To the Right, and most definitely Beyond the Fields We Know. Saturday morning cartoons came and went and mutated most peculiarly – at Faire, we were often living in the cartoons – but  weekends remained the enchanted Wood Outside Athens where Kage had always longed to go.

I felt much the same way. Not so much the cartoons; even as a toddler, the ability to sleep late was my Saturday morning delight. I handled the problem of not sleeping late at Faires by just not sleeping at all on the weekends – oh, the vigor of youth, where I could spend 2 days awake and dancing! The walls between the worlds get even thinner when you are stoned on fatigue poisons (at the least …) and making art with all your strength and the Fey Folk besides.

So, yeah. Weekends are still sacred space to me.

But if it’s not a Faire weekend – though I strongly suspect that it’s always Faire Time somewhere: like 5 PM and cocktail hour – there are still glories. This time of year, it’s particularly obvious: Spring is coming, and the world is stretching and waking all around me right now. With the absolute miracle of rain this winter, the xeriscaped front yard has been returned to a sea of plants, out of nowhere: rosemary and milkweed and crane’s bill and poppies, high as my knees and glowing green. Man, there’s oats out there! There’s gonna be a hell of a lot of work to be done this year, but in the meantime … the roses are blooming, and the mulberry tree is putting out catkins, and squirrels are falling out of the branches in an ecstasy of hysterical glee. The ravens are courting, which sounds like amorous thumb pianos in the trees, and outside the kitchen window a demure little hummingbird is hatching magic in a nest the size of an eggcup.

Kage used to say, Fridays are the Springtime of the week. Life has been waiting to kick off its shoes and dance barefoot on the hills, and flowers spring up in its foot-steps. Rain is coming, there’s a sweet mist flowing and rising over the river, and a mockingbird that doesn’t know there are no nightingales in California is losing his mind out in a perfumed camphor tree …

                                              Oh, don’t you see yon bonnie, bonnie road,

                                              Lying across the ferny brae?

                                             That is the road to fair Elfland,

                                             Where you and I this night must go



About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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