GrBeing grateful to my mother is a consistent theme in my life. I admire so many of the choices she made about parenting. The earliest gifts I remember receiving were a plastic train set and a Playskool village, both at Christmas (I think I was three). I recently found a photo of that village, which flooded my memory with the stories I used to tell with those movable pieces. In my mind, I was already constructing an involved world (see the second photo), designing houses and roadways, adding amenities to the landscape. I never had that larger village physically, but it was there in my imagination. I was given a doll and a panda bear later, both favorites of mine, but I’m thankful that my mom opened the door for the designer in my personality, giving me tools to tell stories in many ways. (Full disclosure: I photoshopped my head onto that second photo.)
It is very cold outside. It’s going to get colder. And it will snow. It will snow a great deal tomorrow. My thoughts turn, without help, to spring and gardens and planting. Seed catalogues are filled with color and dreams, the scents of soil and flowers and greens. The tenderness of sunlight and shade. It is gratifying to know that people have sought a winter lifeline in seed catalogues for more than one hundred years. The artwork is an inspiration.