Spring Whimsy

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 Happy that the recent unseasonable frosts spared my  daffodils and hyacinth, my mind wandered to the flowering season ahead, and to Eden long ago…

The book of Genesis tells us that Adam was given the job of naming the animals. Bear. Wolf. Lion. And so on.

I suggest that maybe (just perhaps!) Eve took it upon herself to name the flowers.  Heliotrope, Delphinium, Daisy, Honeysuckle, Lily of the Valley. Oh, I can imagine it.

Adam calls to Eve, “Come check these flowers out. They smell great!”  Eve inhales deeply, gazing at the red blooms.  “I will call this the Rose bush”, she declares.

Gently admonishing, Adam tries again to direct her attention to the wonderful scent.  “Eve, a Rose by any name would smell as sweet.”

But Eve demurs. “No, Adam.  A Rose, is a Rose, is a Rose.”

 

 

 

BOOM – It’s Spring!

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The changes were so subtle at first. So longed for. But sometime this week, maybe on the rainy day when I failed to watch for it, Spring arrived full force. Last week’s tight buds now tree-fulls of pink and white blossoms,green leaves of Hostas unfurled. Hyacinths, tulips, and asparagus magically returned for another Spring appearance in our yard. Planted over forty years ago by my husband’s grandmother, this reappearance never ceases to amaze and delight me.

The view from my window has been changing daily. I am watching the Lilies-of-the-Valley, trying to catch the moment little white bells first appear. Soon.

This poem by e.e. cummings captures the magic of Spring changes, so I share it for April poetry month. (I almost chose his poem In Just for my joy in the word mudlucious, but I love how this one captures the changes of the season.)

Spring

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window,Into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and from moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

Meeting the Flowers

White Peony

White Peony

“Peony” was one of the first flowers I remember meeting, the peony bush taller than me as I toddled behind my parents through the flowerbeds. They both loved to garden and talk about the plants, flowers, trees. Everything had a name. That was fascinating to me. Snapdragons, Honeysuckle, Four-O’clock’s, and Hollyhocks were my childhood favorites, fun to say, with flowers suited for play.

I met “Bachelor Buttons” at Grandma M’s house, a field of blue, purple, and pink growing wild atop her root cellar hill. We were allowed to pick as many as we’d like, a rare extravagance in childhood.

Of course, kids can always pick all the wild violets and dandelions they want...

Of course, kids can always pick all the wild violets and dandelions they want…


My mother-in-law introduced me to local wild flowers, Queen Anne’s Lace, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and others not common where I grew up. I’ve toured gardens with many relatives and friends over the years. Those memories flood back today at the sight of particular flowers enjoyed together. My yard has become a memory garden.
Japanese Iris.  Iris were often called "Flags" when I was a child.  People were proud of their many varieties.

Japanese Iris. Iris were often called “Flags” when I was a child. People were proud of their many varieties.


I never got to go on a “meet the flowers” walk with my husband’s Grandma Ruth, but we still enjoy some of her flowers planted on our property more than forty years ago. The Narcissus-faced Daffodils and Grape Hyacinth greet us each Spring, her lilacs still perfuming the air.
Narcissus-faced Daffodils

Narcissus-faced Daffodils

Patch of Grape Hyacinth

Patch of Grape Hyacinth

Grandma Ruth planted the four peony bushes that line our drive, too. I would love to hang a sign on our mailbox, announcing “Peony Lane”, but perhaps need more than four bushes to justify it. Two pink and two white bushes, the white ones bloom first. We always have peonies for Memorial Day.

Peony Lane?

Peony Lane?

Bumblebee Breakfast

It’s a slow start summer Saturday
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Our dog is sprawled on the porch, still guarding the door, daylight her chance to rest after active duty all night. I joined her with my book and bowl of cereal, the cat coming in as I stepped out.

Bright sun spotlights the porch this morning, so I trade sunglasses for my readers and put the book down. The dog woke to watch me eat. The cat stares plaintively out the door, regretting his quick choice to go in. Quite an audience for a simple breakfast.

Edging the porch the Black-eyed Susans and Hostas are abloom. Bumblebees methodically work from one purple trumpet to another on the hosta. A white butterfly hovers. My husband saw a hummingbird here yesterday, but it is just the bees at work this morning. The Morning Glories I planted recently are beginning to climb the trellis. Funny I get such joy from these little things. Slowing is a luxury for me.

The wind chime above my head rings lazily, a backdrop for the constant bird sounds. I hear the mourning doves and quail (Bob White!), and a high pitched, but gentle warble I can’t identify. My father-in-law used to know most birds by their call – wish I’d learned more. We’ve had the fun sounds of cat-birds and mocking birds from time to time, and often woodpeckers to add percussion to the chorus. I spotted an Indigo Bunting twice this week, a rarer treat. I wonder what they sound like?

The cat races outside as I take my empty bowl in. I am heading to town to get some work done at our business. Saturdays are good for that without the interruptions I face when we are open. Before I leave, my husband and I walk the yard, admiring new growth, new blooms. We confer on what to pull and what to leave as he shows me some of the gardening he plans to do today. He’s found more pleasure in the yard in recent years. The visible signs of accomplishment as he mows and weeds make a welcome break from financial decisions and bill paying.  He waves, as always, as I drive away.

So much to treasure in this quiet start to the day.

It’s not just summer. It’s a slowing season of life for us.