Outside my office window is a garden ( Okay, okay, outside every window is a garden). This particular one contains a stone-gray birdbath/fountain depicting a little girl pouring water from a crockery jug; dainty-leafed boxwoods encircle the base. Because boxwoods are evergreen, the garden design pleases the eye through all four seasons. Even harsh New England winters. Even when, like today, the little girl wears a cloak of snow. Even when ice, rather than water, spills from her crockery jug. Even when winterkill dulls the foliage on the surrounding miniature bushes.
A stone-gray sculpture. Green vegetation. A frozen cloak of snow. Pretty.
I gaze out the window a lot when I write, and the little girl with her crockery jug cheers me up on these gloomy Fall days. Yeah, the flowers are gone, but she’s still there. I like the permanence of that.
Here’s the thing: The little girl will remain forever young, but the fountain itself is getting old and porous. If I don’t start storing the statuary indoors during the winter, or at least wrap it in a godawful ugly black plastic tarp, frost heaves will eventually crack the fountain’s sculpted basin, where the birds drink and bathe, and it will be bye-bye evocative motif and hullo dumpster.
The tarp is out of the question. I don’t do plastic anything in the gardens and shrouding the little girl in black seems maudlin to me somehow. Or, maybe it’s me that’s maudlin–dunno. Anyway, I promised myself last winter the statue was going indoors this winter.
Today’s December 11. I’ve got 10 more days.