On a beautiful February day I looked down on Main Street in Annapolis to our harbor. Overhead the colorful Maryland state flags showed off the ancestral colors of our state’s founding family, the Calverts.
Not too many people jostled for space on the sidewalks, the air was balmy, and life was good. Without being jostled by too many tourists, I slowly walked along our historic buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and then made a special stop at one of my favorite stores, Mary and Blanche, which sells preposterously funny cards and novelties. A friend of mine is sick, so co-owner Marian Rainford (a.k.a. Blanche) led me to the silliest of cards.
She and her mother Melissa Rainford (a.k.a.) Mary opened their humorous cornu copia just in time for this recession, which they are weathering wonderfully, thank goodness.
Leaving downtown, my next stop took me to the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the center for all art and art education in Anne Arundel County. Its President Linnell Bowen and I once worked together on historic preservation for the Historic Annapolis Foundation. Linnell accepted my gift of fabric for MD Hall’s theatre department, walked me through the current exhibits, and reminded me to walk the maze in front of the main building.
Thanks to the TKF Foundation, MD Hall created a miniature maze on the same pattern as the 13th century one in the cathedral at Chartres in France. When we visited the original maze, most of the maze was obliterated by chairs and candle stations. Joe, Eleanor, and I were disappointed. The cathedral had cluttered it over with folding chairs and candle racks. Since the Chartres maze is the last surviving medieval maze in a church, we felt it should have been open to enjoy.
At Maryland Hall, however, brown and grey tiles clearly delineate the pattern. One walks on the grey tiles, whose path looks like this.
Walking this path takes me about ten minutes of total concentration and results in my forgetting all my cares. It’s a really good feeling.
Cherishing my up feeling, I quickly drove home to walk with the cats through my own garden. As usual, my eye gravitated to all the bright colors and flowers like this variegated camellia that blooms every February.
The winter aconites have crept up from the soil.
The daffodils are just beginning their golden spread under the trees.
The hellebore is blooming long before Lent.
And my favorite image of all shows the winter beauty of red berries on the bare branches of a deciduous holly tree contrasted with the pink blossoms of an early flowering quince bush.
While I rhapsodized, the cats kept their focus on the house and their dinner.
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