It's hard to believe that the first month of this brand new year is already gone. January, the door to the year...gone. She wasn't the nasty one that she sometimes is, but, instead, quite meek and gentle. I have to admit, if goals weren't all reached, January was not to blame...
She gave us rainy days, icy days, and windy days...perfect days for staying inside...to read a good book or to work with needle and thread.
And, she gave us warm, sunny days...perfect days for being outside...to go hiking or to get the gardens ready for spring planting .
When I read, I sometimes stop to jot down a word, or line, or sometimes an entire passage that I want to remember or to learn more about. Over today's lunch, as I was reading from Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, I found myself reaching for one of my little notebook journals to copy the following lines:
"Coming along the Santa Fe Trail, in the vast plains of Kansas, Father Latour had found the sky more a desert than the land; a hard, empty blue, very monotonous to the eyes of a Frenchman. But west of the Pecos all that changed; here there was always activity overhead, clouds forming and moving all day long. Whether they were dark and full of violence, or soft and white with luxurious idleness, they powerfully affected the world beneath them. The desert, the mountains and mesas, were continually re-formed and re-coloured by the cloud shadows. The whole country seemed fluid to the eye under the constant change of accent, this ever-varying distribution of light."
Strange that I just happened to read this passage on a day when the old cowboy and I, as we were out and about, couldn't seem to take our eyes off the skies above that were so active with clouds..."soft and white with luxurious idleness."
A little later a friend wrote, "Are you stuffing dolls today? Have you noticed how the sky is filled with bits and pieces of Polyfil?"
Polyfil, yes, and marshmallows, too! The clouds may have reminded me of marshmallows, somewhat, because a couple of days ago, I had researched remedies for a sore throat and found that eating marshmallows can soothe a sore throat. Really? That sounded too good to be true, and definitely more appealing than a warm salt-water gargle. It seems that the Egyptians used the root of the marshmallow plant as a sore throat remedy, and to treat other maladies. Today's modern marshmallows no longer contain any marshmallow root, but are made mainly of sugar, gelatin and water. Even so, some still claim that marshmallows can sooth a sore throat. It surely was worth a try! And, that's all I have to say about that...
At times like this, I often quote from one of my favorite books ever, Eric Knight's Lassie Come-Home. "When human beings are ill. they often make a show of their injuries and parade them so that others may see and give them sympathy. It is just the reverse with an animal living in its natural state. Asking no sympathy, deeming rather that weakness of any kind is something to be ashamed of, it crawls away into some hidden corner and there, alone, it awaits the outcome.....either recovery or death.
Good thing there were a few marshmallows left over from the Christmas ambrosia......