At the beginning of the summer we strung fairy lights in our meadow, slung in lazy arcs over the triangle of ancient oaks that top the flat little rise before the whole thing goes sloping into queen anne’s lace and deer trails. The New York City free-craigslist picnic table Sweetheart and I snagged from a strange side yard in a Yonkers adventure is going strong (even with the repairs I made after Miss Lucy and Rav and I broke it dancing on it at the first party we threw, whoopsie), and we’ve been dining under the lights at least once a week since. How easy and wonderful and magic it feels to have it set up out there, ready and waiting for us. And something about it is pretty magical, as if you are in a room made of glow. And after Miss MoMo took the above shot during Dear Miss Ann Marie’s jubilee birthday dinner this past weekend (officially the end of summer, but not the end of lightmagic), I realized that everyone who comes over takes a picture…here are some of my favorite friend’s snaps from this summer under the stars, amidst the sweet and easy shine of the lights. Thanks, of course, to mollyleddbetter, ammmr, mrsravenel, lucymcfa, aransler, likeyouwalkacross, mckaymc, and thefieldblog for coming to dinner and for being so beautiful themselves.
Yes, those are my painted wood farmhouse floors. Yes, that is my pink poinsettia. Yes, they were both waiting for me when I returned to the country from the city this week. The floors have been here since 1890 or so, the poinsettia, since just last week, but my how I love them both. My mama has been getting me a pink poinsettia for my birthday every year, as long as I can remember, since before I wore a fur muff and a cape (like this) and took three very special friends to Richmond for a tea party and to see The Nutcracker (this was my deepest desire as a girl turning 8 and, frankly, that STILL sounds totally awesome). Also waiting for me upon my return, a parcel from dear McKay, with a new story (hers) and moon vine seeds to plant in the spring (mine), and a big ‘ole box from Jay and Katie Rose full of JARS (!! how well they know me) and, among other affirmations, this quote:
Time and tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of 30.”- Robert Frost
Now, I realize that there may be a bit of a mid-century jibe lurking here, one about lying about your age, but that literally didn’t occur to me until just now… rather, I read it as something powerful, as if, at 30, a woman has a certain hard-earned-sense and now-finally-trusted-intuition and faith-in-the-weight-of-her-own-truth to slow down from the head-long gallop of 16, the jittery glitter of 21, and the loud, mouthy, wisdom of 25 and take a deep breath, at last, and be comfortable in quiet, in time, in her own skin. 30 years of living may not magically afford us the ability to weigh what we need and want and love and craft a life of purpose and beauty out of them, but I turn 30 on Sunday, and I’ll celebrate it at Home, with wood-smoke and family, with Sweetheart and music, with friends coming down from the cities and coming in from the farther-out-country mountain hollers, and with love. And fried chicken, oysters, and champagne. So.