BRING NOTHING BUT GLADNESS TO ME…Tra La. Gilbert and Sullivan, can you top that? I cannot think of one word of complaint over these past few weeks since spring ushered in an abundance of flowering trees, rhododendron in rainbow colors and fresh produce spilling over the fertile lands where volunteers and avid gardeners fill our plates with glorious abundance. Oooh, that’s pretty flowery, as it should be! The smell of freshly mown grass–the color of green that only comes from delicate intermittent showers–the wind from the Sound, the hummingbirds whirring around my prayer flags (I don’t feed them so maybe they’re Buddhist), the moon that starts hovering around seven o’clock even before the sun finally descends at 9:30, fill my day, which culminates in a walk along the shore at sunset watching the tide go out. Whidbey Islanders have taken to the roads and byways, on bicycle and foot, many ending up at Ebey’s Landing, an Historical National Reserve that gives a vivid record of Pacific Northwest history, clearly visible in the landscape. My friend, Lee Compton and I hiked up the cliff in April. It was a beautiful, solitary walk, now taken over by dozens of avid hikers preparing for the summer season.
You may remember that Lee is the friend who saved my life in India three years ago when I fell headfirst, after hanging from my right knee on a strap on the third tier of an Indian train on the way from Ft. Cochin to Udupi. He caught me just as my head was preparing to go through the floor of the compartment. Needless to say, I owe him big time!
May Day was ushered in, joyously, at the Good Cheer Garden in Langley, organized by Camille Green, the garden manager. This was my first time around the maypole and it was hilarious as we wove in and out until the ribbons were so short that we had to stop. There was good food, good music, face painting, and an array of flowers and branches so we could make colorful headdresses. Larry Dobson wowed us all with his expertise on stilts. We had a blast! Brava, Camille.
I just returned from an exciting afternoon at WICA (Whidbey Island Center for the Arts), attending the 17th annual Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival. Four playwrights and their dramaturges presented scenes from the plays they had been working on at Hedgebrook, the writer’s retreat near Langley. They had just finished an intensive two-week residency. The actors were incredible and the material powerful. At times I thought I was back on Broadway!
This was one of many programs I’ve attended at WICA over the past months. Luckily I’ve been able to volunteer for the shows, musical or dramatic, that appeal to me…and there are many. Being an usher means that you don’t have to pay! I like that. I’ve also enjoyed four operas that have been streamed live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on various Saturday mornings. Many of you have probably done the same. The programs are broadcast internationally. What a great service to us opera lovers. Because of the time change we had to be in our seats by 10 AM for the matinee. But it was worth it, even though it meant catching an early ferry. I’ve been attending with two friends, Jon Pollack and Christy Korrow.
An outstanding concert, the final one of the Saratoga Orchestra, featured Sara Davis Buechner playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. I have never heard it played with such power and finesse! She also gave a short program of the history of jazz and ragtime in the early 1920’s, illustrating her talk with excerpts. If you ever get a chance to hear this artist, grab it (http://saradavisbuechner.com). She’s sensational!
Next up, my birthday. Let’s see how the zip line goes this year!