Orchard House is for reading, writing and conversation. In Orchard House, cooking, sewing, knitting and gardening are part of life, to be considered like everything else, with mindfulness.
Women live in Orchard House and there is much talk of what it is, and might be, and was, to be a woman. There is no ban on men, but they just aren’t around here much.
This Orchard House, our Orchard House, is located in the blogosphere, it is built of bytes, digitally constructed, everywhere and nowhere. But that Orchard House (above) was the Alcott home on Lexington Road, Concord, Massachusetts: Louisa was fifteen or sixteen when they moved in in 1858; she wrote Little Women there ten years later; and almost ten years after that, her mother dead and her sisters married, she and her father moved out. The house is still there.
And of course, Orchard House was also the name of the house where the March family lived, and that house will always be there.
Pomona Papers? Pomona is a nymph, not quite of goddess rank, but she protects orchards, and fruit. She is neither Greek nor Roman, but Etruscan, as old as the hills, and as young as spring. She delights in the budding apple bough that was brought into the Orchard House the other day, but would have preferred it left it on the tree. Even though it was just pruning: Pomona knows it was too late.
Pomona’s story is the familiar one of nymphs: constant harassment by one god or another, constant vigilance to protect her orchard and her virtue — her power. She succumbed at last to the most handsome of them, Vertumnus, who disguised himself as an old woman and talked gently to her. Vertumnus was a god of change: Pomona wants fruitfulness — spring, summer, autumn — but not winter; he persuades her that winter is part of the cycle, that without winter there can be no spring. When he casts off his disguise and comes to her as the young god, she accepts him.
Lucky Vertumnus, and lucky us.