The first flowers of the season are starting to bloom everywhere in Vermont. Pink and red buds are swelling among the apple trees and violets are coloring the fields.
Over in Carding, Vermont, Edie Wolfe is indulging in a little color therapy in her backyard. Let’s join her, shall we?
For the gardeners in Carding, Vermont, the first week of May is as close to perfect as you can get. The temps in the mornings are cool enough to invite a sweater or light jacket. The weeds and other garden woes are holding back on their ravages to wait for warmer weather. The black flies have not started to bite.
And most of the flowers-to-come are a ways off so you can let your imagination conjure perfectly straight rows, perfect blooms, and a perfect harmony without any interference from reality.
It is a precious few weeks, and Edie Wolfe now starts her day with a stroll among the plantings in her backyard with a second cup of tea. She’s joined by her cocker spaniel, Nearly, who snuffles about from mole hole to chipmunk den and back again.
Edie’s favorite plant at this time of the year is the creeping Veronica spilling over the decorative rocks she collects every time she gets near the Corvus River. Each petal of the pale blue flower is delicately edged in white with lines of a deeper blue streaking their interior.
Once the starts, the tiny blooms—no bigger than the fingernail on Edie’s pinky—hurry through their life spans, opening to greet the morning then closing as the sun sets. She turned them up with her hand, smiling at the gift each one represents.
“I need to draw you,” she said out loud.
So far, Edie had not confessed to anyone about her latest creative pursuit. She could just imagine the eye rolls when her friends and family found out she was pursuing yet another hobby.
But colored pencils, paper and pens are so much easier to carry around than a sewing machine, cutting mat, scissors, fabric and thread. In fact, Edie now keeps a small set of drawing utensils and supplies in the leather backpack she uses as a purse, filling stray minutes with what she thinks of as “her scribblings.”
It was the work of a moment to fetch a small glass of water from the kitchen and fill it with snips of the creeping Veronica.
While Nearly kept watch from his favorite prone position on her back step, Edie settled her favorite porch chair at her sturdiest outdoor table. It didn’t take long before she was deeply engrossed in the minutia of the tiny blue flowers and their ruffled leaves.
She knew she had to be quick because creeping Veronica does not take well to being cut, and the diminutive blooms already showed signs of closing.
That’s why she never knew that her best friend, Ruth Goodwin, had rounded the corner of the house until Nearly barked.
“Hey, I didn’t know you had taken up drawing,” Ruth said.
Much to her irritation, Edie felt a blush creep over her cheeks, and she spread her hands over her paper.
“It’s not much,” Edie said. “I’m just a beginner.”
Ruth pulled out a chair and sat down. “Are you taking lessons anywhere?”
“Oh, just a couple of things online. Wil introduced me to YouTube as a resource, and I’ve found some drawing lessons there.” Edie started to close her pad but Ruth reached out to stop her.
“I’ve been trying my hand at watercolors myself,” she said. “Do you suppose this is an aging thing that we’re doing?”
“Watercolors? How long have you been doing that?” Edie asked, avoiding the aging question even as she admitted its legitimacy.
“Well, I’d been thinking about it for a while. But what really got me going in earnest was that comment you made on our way to our last quilt retreat about all the stuff you have to lug around when you want to quilt with friends,” Ruth said. “I love to sew but I’ve formed a real aversion to lugging stuff here and there. I do enough of that working for the post office.”
“I made that comment?” Edie’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. “I thought you made that comment, It’s what got me to thinking about starting up again on the drawing I did when I was younger.”
“Did I say that? I wonder if we both thought it so hard, we figured it was said out loud.” The two friends looked at one another and then started laughing.
“Do you mind if I get my paints from the car and join you?” Ruth asked.
Edie stood up. “I’ll get the tea ready, and meet you right back here.”
You can visit Carding any time in my novels, The Road Unsalted,Thieves of Fire, and The Dazzling Uncertainty of Life. The fourth in the series, Light in Water, Dancing, will go on sale on June 15, 2018. And yes, it will be available on Amazon.com.
You can subscribe to the Carding Chronicles by clicking the subscribe button on my home page. When you do, my stories speed from my keyboard to your inbox every Thursday without any further effort on your part.
If you would like to get in touch, my email address is: Sonja@SonjaHakala.com.