yrical language, lissome lily of the valley, love.
It's a fun little exercise: take a letter, then make a list of ten things of which you are particularly fond that start with that letter. It was Calicobebop's idea, and she handed me an "L," so here's my list.
1. Literature. This is hardly a surprise, I know. But I love the pace of a long session of quiet reading, the coziness of looking up through the window and watching snow or rain fall, and then losing myself in a book again, the anticipation of being halfway through a complex novel and wondering about what will happen next, the magic of immersing myself in lyrical poetry.
2. Lace tablecloths. Mine has filaments woven by hand by women who inherited the techniques from their mother's mother's mother's mother. I purchased it on the island of Burano off the coast of Venice when I was just a few months pregnant with Son. The fiber is cotton, and the openwork pattern of flowers is, like a spiderweb, both delicate and incredibly sturdy.
3. Lilacs. I have a lovely bush ridiculously placed in a dappled shady bed. Lilacs need full sun, and yet this bush blooms every year, and makes my whole yard fragrant for several weeks. Someday, I will have a whole hedge of them.
4. London. Perhaps my favorite city (so far) in which I've ever spent time. Theater, parks, museums, pubs, theater, libraries, shopping, theater, history, architecture, and theater. What else could you want in a city?
5. Leather bags. Totes, satchels, purses, hobos. I love the smell of quality leather, the feel of buttery softness, the shapes, the styles, the buckles, the chance to change your look so quickly. I may not love the price, but that doesn't keep me from oogling...
6. Lasagne. The best lasagne I ever had was in a little after-theater restaurant in Bristol, England. It was run by a motherly Italian woman who was chief cook, bartender, and bouncer all rolled into one. The single-serving dishes came out of the kitchen fiercely hot, tangy with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, creamy with a cheesy bechamel I have long tried to replicate and long failed even to emulate. It was a culinary dream the likes of which I could eat every day -- if only I had the recipe.
7. Laughter. The deep belly laughs of my children when they crack each other up; the lilting giggles of my daughter when I tickle her with my eyelashes; the side-splitting laughter that comes with sharing stories and wine with my dearest friends. In all forms, I love to laugh, love to hear others laughing.
8. Light. It's not so much light as opposed to dark, but rather the quality of light that I appreciate. I love the warm glow that the time just before dusk -- what used to be called the gloaming, and what a lovely word -- casts on skin tones. I love the clarity of the light at the beach, the beams of light in which dust motes dance lazily on a summer's day, the pool of lamplight that unites us as we sit together on the couch talking late at night.
9. Lemon. The smell of the zest cheers me up almost instantly. I love the sight of lemons hanging plump and promising on trees; the clean flavor of a lemon sponge cake; the refreshing tang of homemade lemonade on hot summer days; tart lemon bars for a gooey winter pick-me-up; and the brilliant lemon-motif pottery produced in Tuscany.
10. Lithographs. Perhaps it's because I study the nineteenth century for a living, but I am particularly fond of the fine lines, the attention to detail, the delicacy and precision of these impressive black and white creations. If I could collect anything that had real value, it would be these small wonders.
Photo credit: Art tile (image 2) created here.