When everything we create is far in spirit from the festive,
in the midst of our turbulent days let us think of what festivals were.
(from Rainer Maria Rilke, The Sonnets to Orpheus)
I'm sitting in a beach chair in the mid-afternoon sun on the patio, celebrating Mozart's birthday—listening over and over to his Laudate Dominum on our "Megaboom" speaker behind me in the doorway (though it plays even underwater, they tell us, and I could easily carry it with me on a hike), and drinking special oolong tea from a little cup-and-pot set. I can't ever decide if the sacred music is more perfectly sung by Anja Harteros or by Cecilia Bartoli; each version is sublime and divine. The tea is perhaps Wood Dragon Roasted Twig, or Buddha's Hand. Even if something more prosaic, my little impromptu birthday party, attended by a few birds and by our worn-down goddess of compassion on her weathered ledge, is somehow just what Rilke had in mind.
image: Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Spring