Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bringing sunshine to the dungeon

Millipedes were waiting to greet me when I arrived at my office this morning. They were gathered, hundreds of them, just inside the door and all along the stairwell, and many of them had found their way down the steps to my hallway.

I don't care to share my space with millipedes, but there they were, advancing slowly but inexorably in the direction of my new office. A basement office with a dungeon-style window already feels creepy enough without the invasion of many-legged creepy-crawlies.

Good thing I brought along my daughter to dispel the dungeon ambience. She stood on a stepladder and painted all morning and afternoon, often with her arms stretched above her head to reach high along the wall. Soon a clematis vine was creeping down from that distant window, and fluttering nearby were a goldfinch, chickadee, hummingbird, and hummingbird moth. 

Years ago she embellished my first office here with a kitten reaching for a butterfly, but the next resident painted right over it. The birds she painted in my second office still flutter around the window for the current resident, but I never asked her to paint anything on the walls of my library office. (New building, new rules. I believe I would have been run out of town on a rail if an unapproved drop of paint had appeared on those walls.)

My new office, though, needed a touch of sunshine to offset the gloom, so today I set Laura loose to mark my territory. I didn't ask permission and I doubt if anyone cares--except for me. I resisted moving to this office and I'm tempted to obsess over its flaws and dampness and creepy-crawly visitors, so I welcome the touch of brightness and life provided by the birds.

I just wish the birds would swoop down and snatch up those pesky little millipedes milling about the halls.

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