Springtime is a riot of pastels
A Riot of Pastels on a sunny day.
It was one of those golden days of late May in Buffalo, New York. The 80-degree temperature was tempered by a seven-mph zephyr that cooled the skin. We were out walking the nearby streets and enjoying the full bloom of spring. The lush green canopies, of the hard woods, were interspersed with the dusty-red, ornamental maples and bright yellow umbrellas of the willows. The deep, jade-green of the grass added luster to the pastels, giving them that hazy, air-brushed quality that is easy on the eyes.
The sun overhead was a pale yellow that warmed and softened, not the blow torch spotlight that we are used to in Florida. The sky overhead reflected a powder-puff blue colorization, speckled with the fleecy, cirrus clouds that look like sprays of cotton candy that have escaped from a county fair vendor. The entire array of visual images had that soft, pastel quality that one sees in a Degas painting, bright splashes of color muted to a pleasant, diaphanous texture. Walking through this gallery of color and light is a visual pleasure.Spring in Buffalo can be glorious. It emerges after the long, gray and dingy tunnel of winter. The brightness, of the colors around you, startles the senses and makes you happy to be alive on a sunny day like this. Life, by any definition, is good.
We stopped for coffee at the Wegman's super store, on Sheridan Dr. The enormous facility is like a small village, with its many departments and profusion of commodities available. We like to wander the aisles here, staring like third-worlders, in absolute awe at the plenty offered so casually on the store’s shelves. The visual riot of the colors here is fascinating. The new reality, of the Corona era, has everyone wearing face masks like the cast of an old Western movie.
Coffee, standing on the store’s shaded patio, is always an interesting affair. Throngs of people, driving all manner of vehicles, enter the store. The variety of their dress and difference of their manner is always entertaining. The wide variety of face masks has you wondering just who these masked people really are. Watching a television program is a pale imitation to the depth of the drama and quality of human interest offered here daily.
Occasionally, a fender bender or other mishap will cause a small ripple in the day’s activities. But, it soon returns to its normal frenetic pace, like a river of people seeking things to carry off with them in a profusion of packages and bundles. Speculation as to the who, what, where and why, of all those who pass, is a constant enjoyment. Life is always more entertaining than fiction.
Soon enough, we set out for walk back to our nearby castle. The show goes on here continually. We will see another episode of it with tomorrow’s walk. The roads around us, here in Amherst, are always busy. Scores of doctor’s offices, small businesses, schools and other enterprises guarantee a river of moving steel on all of the main boulevards. We cross the streets carefully, always on the lookout for a knuckle-headed texter, who isn’t looking at anything buy his/her I-phone.
We arrive home and settle onto the patio, to enjoy the late afternoon sun, while reading our latest book. It is a good routine that we try to engage in as often as possible, both here and in Florida, whenever the weather cooperates. Retirement isn’t just good. It is everything we could ever hope for.
Joseph Xavier Martin