The Carolina morning is sweet, cool and clear, a frisky breeze ruffling the new leaves.
We’ve left the coast, and with it the bowl of still and humid air that is the mid Atlantic, even in the freshest seasons.
We’re further south but higher, resulting in the same stage of spring: radiant dogwoods, new leaves, early bloomers still bright, with the irises in bud. Yesterday we climbed and climbed. Route 360 through Virginia unfurled in wave after wave of low hills, each one cresting just a bit higher than the last. Now the land is labyrinthine hollows and piney woods, with no roads that follow any cardinal line.
I can feel the mountains even though they’re at least a hundred miles away.
This lovely house is a haven for birds, butterflies, blossoms. Mama cardinal nests outside the door. The beams and planks of the old part of the house are fragrant with age: a bit smoky with a frisson of ancient dust. I’m sleeping in a slant ceiling room with white beaded ceiling, in a nest of pillows and comfort. I found a tiny vase of lily of the valley beside my bed, something my grandmother Bea would have done.
We’ve had a beautiful day of coffee, garden, kitchen, luncheon with friends under maple leaves so new they were nearly yellow, vivid against the blue. It’s been lovely to BE here, taking in the beauty of the place, knowing that the next few days we will be dashing through many places worthy of lingering.
BTW, if you want to follow us on Twitter, use hashtag #coast2coast. I’m @patriseart.
Here’s a few pics; if you want more, they are on Flickr, at right.