Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
William Wordsworth, “To a Young Lady Who had Been Reproached for Taking Long Walks in the Country”
Melancholy is easy. Serenity seems to be a bit harder, perhaps more so as pale grey hairs begin to outnumber the dark ones. Things fade, as do people, flowers, draperies in the sunny windows, and bones of beached whales bleached by the sun and smoothed by the tide.
So, my hypertufa Pequod is poised on the side of the pond, ready to hunt the elusive white whale. The fish fountain at right only spouts water when the sun shines serenely and brightly on its small solar panel. Apart from the fact that he’s hardly white, he spouts from his mouth rather than his blowhole. So, Melville would probably not appreciate my horticultural tribute to Moby Dick.
Mr. Mosshead has been moved farther into the shade as the summer sun closes in everywhere. I’m not sure if he’ll survive in the south-facing side of the house. While he evokes serenity, he doesn’t do bright. Perhaps I should return him to the spot out front where I harvested the moss. The spot in perpetual shade also gets the direct runoff from a sprinkler head that creates the ideal conditions for moss. Not exactly the lingering summer twilight in Lapland, but perhaps more appropriate to his needs.