A little over a week ago, Chiberia was melting like a memory, or a nightmare of freezing rain. Today, there's softly falling snow, possibly 2 or 3 inches. It's lovely, airy stuff.
Winter has many beauties, yes---but it's been wintery since November, and it's not even February, yet.....
Maybe we need some color therapy?
Well, it's summer in the seed catalogs. Page after page of tomatoes and melons ripening in the sun. It's the light that strikes me, the intensity of it, as well as all the green and growing things. Here is the promise of summer days, warm and round as tomatoes.
Dream of summer, plan a garden. Pick up some fresh produce at the grocery store. There, you can find tomatoes, somewhat anemic compared to the home grown variety, but you can find vine-ripe tomatoes, peppers, kale and spinach, even now. Think how good they would be all simmering together, filling your kitchen with added humidity and the aromas of garlic and oregano, rosemary and basil. Summer condensed in a sauce.
Need some more color?
Pantone has announced the Color of the Year for 2014--Radiant Orchid. The press release describes it this way--“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health...."
Who would not agree? It is an enchanting, inspiring color, with exotic associations, as well. The sample doesn't really convey its beauty, so here's another example in orchid form---
Florist shops have orchids, now. A spray can last longer than roses.
An orchid plant is not difficult to grow, either. Thanks to modern hybrids, potted plants are available at florists and garden centers for very little money.
You can even find orchids for sale at the Jewel. How's that for one-stop shopping?
Need more color therapy? There are jungles under glass at the Conservatories. Garfield Park Conservatory (take the Green Line) has a Palm Room. Lincoln Park Conservatory has a wall of blooming orchids. The Oak Park Conservatory (just off the Blue Line ) has a fruiting lemon tree!
Inside is a refuge of green leaves and moving water, multicolored koi and bright tropical birds. Breathe in the warm air and humidity. Smell the damp earth and growing plants. It's like being transported to a different planet.
Snow is falling outside, the world of winter, again. In this world of dripping green, the colorful orchids are blooming...
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