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One Day in Light

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March is slapping us around here in Ohio.  Hey! Spring's here!! Whoops! Snow! Here are the Three Graces at noon today, on my way into town. I wanted to document their buds and flowers coming out so early in March, even though the light was flat and dull.

And here they are at 5:46 pm. Same day. Same place. Somewhat different light. If you don't think that light changes everything, that light is life and love, that light is everything, well, it is. At least it is for me. I raced home to catch this scene, praying under my breath that the light wouldn't leave before I could get to this exact place. This place I've shot dozens of times, this place that is never the same twice.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? I don't know. I'm just so grateful that it does.  How lucky can you get, to live on a planet that has skies like this? 

 Before that could happen, though, this had to happen. I went into the store and the sun was out, and the clouds were racing across a cold blue sky. I came out with a full cart and it was blowing a gale, a total horizontal snow whiteout. In the time it took me to unload the cart, my hair, which had been having a pretty good day, was plastered to my skull and dripping. My coat was white with wet snow. I was laughing helplessly because I had no hat, no gloves, and way too little coat.  March, you got me.

By the time I got to Fifth Street, the squall was already ending. I could see a sky-blue petticoat under the flannel. This is our beautiful Washington County Library, built on a sacred Native mound. It's a Carnegie library, which means it was built with a $30,000 grant from the Carnegie foundation given January 2, 1913. My father was seven months old, smiling and crowing in his crib. 

In Ohio, 104 public libraries were built from 79 grants (totaling $2,846,484) awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 1899 to 1915. In addition, academic libraries were built at 7 institutions (totaling $368,445). 

 I'm awfully glad to have a Carnegie library in our town. Grateful to see my tax dollars at work here, continuing the legacy Carnegie started.

 Glad it's still a library, glad it's got books (and computers) and wonderful staff and they hold public programs. The Washington County Public Library, the Ohio River Museum and Campus Martius Museum will host me March 29, telling the story of that unlucky/lucky West Virginia snowy owl in narration and photos. There isn't a room big enough in the library proper to house it, so we're holding it at 7 PM at Campus Martius Museum, Second and Washington Streets in Marietta.  I can't wait! More info here.

Just a few more shots from today, because they're too beautiful not to post. 

The Shadow Barn, from another perspective. When I think of all the times I trotted past here with my little familiar, trying to get a shot of both our shadows, I get a little choked up. I remember the foggy morning we saw a whole family of raccoons cross the road here. They reminded me of nothing so much as coatis. I held onto him and we let them pass. I can still feel him trembling, hear him clearing his throat and just barely whining. I can smell his damp ruff.

I love the color combo of asbestos shingles and weathered red wood. I love this little machine shed so much.  It looks like something you'd find out on the North Dakota prairie, only it's rotting faster in Ohio.

 The sky was just ridiculous. The shed had a spotlight on it, like someone was expecting it to dance.

Click on this one. Click on all of them, please.
 I got out of the car to grab the mail, and almost fell to my knees. For all the days when the gray flannel reigns, for the weeks on end when the sun barely makes an appearance, there will be an hour of golden glory, and it is enough. It's enough.


I clicked on all of them. For you. For me. Trying to let it lift me as it lifted you.

Julie, love your photos and blog. There is a very beautiful Carnegie Library in Defiance Ohio, if you ever are up there for something. (We get to find these special places on our GOBA bike ride across Ohio, which stops in small towns where we camp.) March is a harsh month weather wise but we'll all be in the green very soon.

What a gift Julie!
Thank you for sharing both narrative and photos & I did click!
Just wonderful!

So many neat things here-pretty purple flowers, clouds, libraries, sheds. Another great blog post. (And by the way, I loved seeing your comment over on Bourbon, Bastards and Birds, lol)

Wonderful photos. Your library reminded me of a book I love, "In the House of the Seven Librarians" by Ellen Klages, a sort of fantasy set in a no-longer-in-use Carnegie Library.

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