Saturday was a good day. Peonies at Trader Joe’s, pulling creeping Charlie and bindweed at the community garden – and the cool spring sunshine came out instead of the rain we were due. This morning I cut parking lot grape vines and lilies of the valley from around the garbage shed and bleeding hearts from along the driveway. So you see – these flowers are all found except the peonies.
I might have said already – but cosmos and zinnias and bachelor buttons and strawflowers all have sprouted and have their first true leaves. Mind – blown. How do seeds do that? On the other hand, the thyme and oregano plants on my fire escape are practically dead. They don’t like something – the geraniums and petunias? or maybe it is too shady and cold? Or possibly they don’t like my neighbor smoking under my window? No, wait – that’s me who doesn’t like that.
I bought the hyacinth. Everything else I cut from parking lot trees.
Twin crabapples by the abandoned bowling alley. Apple tree behind the old Jamaican buffet that’s a yoga studio now. Lilacs in front of the shuttered Shopko. (Not making any of this up.)
I couldn’t bring myself to cut even a twig off the stunted trunks of the transcendently incongruous white crab apples gracing the steel siding of the liquor store on my corner. (Transcendent incongruity is not to be trifled with.)
We joke here in USDA Zone 4-ish about global warming working out for us. But Summer came and took Spring away with 96 hours of bad August weather in mid-May. The petals are everywhere – blown open in a terrible rush. It’s as bad as a late frost. You can’t re-set the time they needed to do their work.
So this is all of Spring that I could steal, crammed in one bowl. Now let’s hope for rain.
Hello, Sunday Window Dear. I was not expecting your whirly stars and feather-flame petals, going in all directions. Every which way, you are beautiful – but I like you best peeking out from the soft, waking up from your dream.
The magnolia buds are open. Flower doesn’t seem a strong enough word for the long elegant stars, or thick pink cups each tree supports in the hundreds. Or the marvel of the yellow magnolias that look as if a gold finch has perched on every twig, and the entire tree is waiting to burst into flight.
I scrumbled the dirt around in my community garden plot today, and opened my first packet of seeds – little pellets that somehow might become strawflowers. Then the tiny tan and black parachutes of bachelor’s buttons – and the long spikes of cosmos, like some exotic caraway seed.
I’ll have to visit my seeds everyday now – especially if we don’t get rain. I have no doubt they are prepared to do their job, these time travelers who have stored up all that last summer offered. The question is, have I done mine? Can it really enough just to give them a foot hold, and make sure they have something to drink?
If even a few become the tall, unruly creatures I imagine, luring bees and rain into their orbit by Showing Their Stuff in blue and pink and white and candy stripes – I will be one of the happiest humans on planet earth.
Will wonders never cease.
Oh, dear. My little nap turned into sleep – and so that’s all the story I can write before midnight.
The hyacinth – you remember their fragrance. How it colors the air with sun and spring. Such a lovely dream.
There aren’t enough tulips in this lovely world
for all the beautiful birthday girls
whose April 29ths belong
to sunshine spring and robin song.
Happy birthday, darling cuz, and Mama too,
who ever was in need of tulips to fill her heart
and has them now, I’m sure
and painted here her happiness
to find their golden petal dress
unfurling and untwirling still
enough tulips in this lovely world.
Love, love, love you my dears, my April 29th tulips girls.
What else is there but risk? I have my reasons for the ones I take. And if you know the outcome, technically that is A Safe Bet and not a risk at all. So you don’t get any credit for trying in those circumstances.
But then the silence comes. The answer that reminds me I wasn’t sure at all when I set out. And in that empty mirror, I recognize how much stronger the hope was than I had admitted. See that the words carried me to an unknown audience, my questions written on a scrap of paper, picked up by a sudden gust of wind and whirled beyond my grasp. There’s no way I can chase them back into the safety of my pocket. Those little kites have sailed.
The hardest answer came when I felt so sure of the other heart. That is how risk is. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s there.
That silence did not yield, and it reminded me how to lose.
This is the way to have what you have. At least, as far as I can tell.
Spring is still waiting in the wings. Snow drops have erupted between the spent leaves and the tangles of last year’s grass, their nodding bells buzzing with bees – yes, bees – making the most of these early delicacies. And the tender strands of witchhazel blossoms have burst along the branches, more like ribbons than petals, and unexpectedly fragrant in the snow-cold air.
I’m still pretty tired most of the time. Daunted, if that can be said. All the little variables that can’t be decided or purchased. Or folded and stored, for that matter. I feel like my brain and nerves went through a terrible storm in a tiny little dingy. And even though we’ve reach dry land, my legs are still trembling.
These days, I’m never sure about the pictures. I think I’m getting somewhere – but I find I’ve ended up somewhere else. Maybe that’s no surprise. I haven’t landed quite yet.
Subscribe to what is beautiful remains
Fifty eight times around the sun, but it doesn’t seem like any time has passed, does it?
We came here together, and that’s certain – our singular selves, but two birds of a feather. Hearts full of April flowers, no doubt about it, and bluebirds in the backyard. And lucky beyond all good fortune to have each other – your fierce bravery, determined to walk first, and get on with the things you wanted. And me – charmingly indolent and prone to distraction, needing just five more minutes to watch the clouds drift along, and then maybe a snack.
No power in the ‘Verse can stop us.
Happy birthday my dearest dear – with all the love my heart can hold.
Daffodils for you, my dear, whereever you are sleeping and dreaming and asking, “What is this joy?” Joy that comes with tears for the ache of being alive, for facing the hurricane force that blows through us unrelenting. We open our windows, and bend and break and somehow we stand. And before we know it the storm clears, and we come to rest.
In all your misdeeds – don’t you want to be forgiven? In all your disappoinments – don’t you want to find hope? In all your forgetting, don’t you want to remember the drift of soft voices from the warm lighted living room, sing-songs you try to follow from the groggy realm of Bedtime. Grown up voices turning the world over and over with their mystifying certainty, until for once you know everything will turn out alright?
Today the sky was hard, clear blue, full of sunshine that didn’t warm away the cold. A beautiful day, like the day we last spent together getting tea, I think, and certainly at the antique mall. Tomorrow we are apart for the first and inevitable final time, and the clock of my year resets.
But today we are always together. I am here because of you, and you are here for me.
Don’t you want to be forgiven, too?
The early morning light was very friendly, and I am learning a new thing or so about what I am doing (both flowers and camera) which makes for an adventure, and love.
I try to add my significant others and create a proper still life. The kissing couple, the curious hound, the plump bluebird. Each figurine plainly stating my wish within the frame. Sweet dimestore talisman for the life I want and dream of.
But the open space always wins.
Open, but not empty. Containing the light and everything else that might be there. Room to imagine your own significant others, or just think about how it is to have flowers on your table and notice the sunlight pooling on an old tablecloth, and take another sip of tea.