'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.
Go here to find out more.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Sweet, Sweet Peas.
When I was about 7 and my sister was 3, I discovered sweet peas. That year my Mother grew them against the chook house. There were masses, lovely reds, blues and purples, and the soft mild sweet perfume scented the whole of that part of the garden - from the raspberries to the asparagus bed, and even as far as the peach tree.
But when I say discovered, I don't mean the flowers, I mean the peas themselves, in their pods. We knew about garden peas, and helped Mum shell them and always enjoyed a few before the rest were put in the pot. So when I saw these little tiny child-size peas, green and tender in their pods, I naturally tried them, and finding them as nice if not nicer than the garden types, called Jane over excitedly. We had eaten dozens before Mum spotted us. She gave a strangled sort of shriek, said firmly 'Don't eat any more of those please dears!' and rushed away inside. Being well-behaved little girls, we went and had a swing and had forgotten all about the sweet peas in the ten minutes it took Mum to phone the hospital. I learned many years later they said they had no idea if sweet peas were poisonous, and just to keep an eye on us for a while. Needless to say, we survived.
A friend gave me a beautiful bunch the other day.
Although I still remember eating the peas, now I see them mostly through an artist's eyes.
The graduations of colours, the purple tones in the stems (how can green mix so beautifully with mauve??!), the way the flowers ripple at their edges and bend against themselves, the recurved points on the sepals, the tiny hairs on the stems ...
...the lovely markings on some of the petals ...
... the brightness of them under the skylight and against the dark bench ....
and of course the heavenly scent. I wish you could smell them!