Shadows in this house hang confidently like art.
Where water dances on the ceiling,
There is the music of light.
Seven windows and one wall
Reflect a vase of lavender.
A friend who’s been here frequently came for dinner last night. Both of our husbands were busy and our schedules have been keeping us apart, so she drove her little SUV up the hill after her last class. Stepping through the doorway, she emitted an involuntary sigh.
That’s what this house is like.
It was almost 6 and the evening sun was painting the hills. The arched expanse of windows creates a cinematic sense that this is the landscape of a story. Of course every landscape is the backdrop for someone’s story, and this is mine, but this landscape is tinged with magic—I swear!
Even when the windows need washing (which they do) or the river’s low and the hills are dry (you’ve no doubt heard about our drought), the light slides with such drama that people stop and wait the way people who live in the flight path of an airport wait for planes to pass overhead. Our wait is slower and more luxurious; if it happened more than twice a day it would be distracting.
Kate and I brought our glasses to the chairs by the window. The sun’s strength was crossed by a chill wind up the river, so we sat safely inside. We talked about art and film and Shakespeare and the dramas in our lives. The sound of the fountain masked what evening traffic comes home with the commuters. Other than that, it was just our voices—words and laughter and exclamations like the wisps of clouds outside that were turning pink and grey and disappearing.
Closed up against the cold, the house smelled strongly of rosemary roasting around the meat. I’d made the rice earlier and quickly sautéed the broccoli, tossing a handful of pine nuts for richness. The evening turned golden with the lights, mellow as they shine from the ceiling high above us. When Greg came home, we were in the den, still talking. I reminded Kate the futon I was sitting on folds out to a bed and the wall slides closed if she wanted to stay, but she had to tend to her dog and wanted to get back home.
The stars that ushered her out are the stars that have led travelers in this Valley for eons and will lead others here and home again.