Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Guy Billout

Have I mentioned that I really admire the work of Guy Billout?

He is a deceptively simple artist with an obviously wicked sense of humor, but I find that the more I look at his work, the more I start extrapolating.

Find more of his work at his gallery.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Sweetness of Spring

For those unaware of my recent peregrinations, I have just returned to the East coast from a six month stay in Kirkland, WA in time for all of the Spring ceremonies, including an odd and very local one.

For the last dozen or so years (perhaps even longer, but my memory is faulty) every Easter Sunday morning an unusual plant appears in our front yard. This year was no exception.

Bleary-eyed I filled my machinetta with filtered water and espresso then set it on the burner to work its caffeinated magic. I walked out the kitchen door to and through the garage to stand at the top of the driveway.
The old hemlock that used to stand in front of the house was gone (the varnish shelf fungus that sprouted from it last year warned us that it was dying) and the red maple has not yet leafed out, so the sun was bright and direct. It was a real pleasure after the long, soggy, and relatively grey winter in the coastal cup that is the Seattle area.

As I soaked in the vitamin D, I scanned the front yard for clues to tasks that I'd have to perform to maintain the look of the neighborhood and avoid the shame and ostracism of the unkempt house of the block. Some fallen branches ... some weeds ... sand piles left by the road from the winter plowing ... not too much.

Then I noticed some new growth right by the toe of my sneaker. It was our annual harbinger of Spring. A small cluster of flowers had sprouted overnight. Five of them had sprouted next to the driveway in a rainbow of color: orange, purple, red, green, yellow. Each had a pair of green leaves at the base of its straight white stem. Each had a cellophane wrapper to keep it fresh and dry.

Perhaps I'd be more helpful if I described the colors of the blossoms as: orange, grape, cherry, lime, and lemon.

It happens, as if by magic, every year. Easter morning there is, on every lawn in the neighborhood, a cluster of bright lollipops with green construction paper leaves at the base of the stem. They appear without regard to the religious affiliation of the family within the house, or their friendliness, or their acceptability. They just appear.

No one ever takes credit (though everyone has their suspicions). No bible tracts, no messages or other ulterior motives are in evidence, just the brightly colored sugary sweetness of the odd blossoms in the sunshine welcoming Spring in whatever guise you want her to have.

Whoever you are ... thanks!