Seasons at the Parris House
Inspiration for design
Maintaining a small homestead like ours requires continual observation of the environment that I confess I did not practice at this level in my previous urban/suburban life. In those days, I understood the basic large-scale changes in the seasons, but I did not catch the minute details. I now watch for the arrival and blooming of specific plants to know when I can stop the early spring feeding of my bees. I pay attention to predator birth and relative hibernation cycles to know when I must be extra vigilant in protecting our chicken flock. I know without a doubt that the old-time New England admonition not to plant your garden until after the last full moon in May is spot-on, just as I can read the signs in the fall that it’s time to start putting the garden to bed. It’s because I am, to borrow a term from the Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, “looking deeply.” This habit of looking deeply at my environment has strongly influenced my rug designs. One of the scenes I observe with the most interest is my neighbor’s field next door to our home, the Parris House.