Yesterday I opened the blinds to a beautiful winter day. After letting myself absorb the clear sky and the brightness of it all, my first thought was Dumbarton Oaks. There is nothing like a trip to the fabled garden to make me feel all is right with the world.
T.S. Eliot talks about midwinter spring in the Four Quartets. It may be that was what we were experiencing in the last two weeks before the latest cold front blew in. More likely something else, but the poem, Little Gidding, talks about light blazing on a branch and certainly I saw that yesterday.
There had been a smash up between winter and spring, as though winter rose furious from a near knock out punch. The magnolias got the worst of it, but from a distance the frosted blossoms look like exotic buds of some sort.
The grass, unmolested by the sudden cold, looked very like summer. In this view, with no deciduous trees, it’s hard to believe it’s not June.
Before we get too far into the ecstasies of Dumbarton Oaks, you may remember that a couple blogs ago, Jan of The Snail of Happiness offered me a custom made pussy hat. At the time, I thought I probably wouldn’t be wearing it until next year, but hat weather arrived at the same time the hat did, from a different direction. Perhaps the cold and the hat had arranged a rendezvous. I certainly gave it to them yesterday. Does it go with my coat and jacket or what?
I went through the garden out of my usual order and it provided some surprises, views from angles I don’t often see. It was looking for the snowdrops that took me off route and then I had to spend some time with two–I think–flowering quince. Those of you in the know can correct me if I’m wrong. They were so stunning, I walked up to them without getting a photo of the big picture. They were magical.
There was other magic, of course. In the forsythia walk.
In the cherry tree alley.
In the naturalized lawn full of crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils and little blue flowers.
There was coming magic on cherry hill where the yoshino cherry trees are.
They had some fat buds, undamaged by the cold, that will be out in the next week or so if it gets warmer.
Up above, I could see the petals of cherry blossoms drifting east in the chill breeze.
There was also evidence of winter repairs.
And around the corner from the repaired bench, more magic.
I have written about the art installations at Dumbarton Oaks before. This one was something, with sounds of a quartet coming from each of the chairs, like a conversation. Of course, when you sit in one of the chairs you insert yourself into the sound, actually feeling it at times. Is it any wonder I love this place?
In any season it blazes with beauty.