The Untended Pinkness


For the unknownth year, the orchard behind the old county mental health facility blossoms untended.  Its not my first abandandoned apple orchard.  Near Berthoud, Colorado  there’s a T in the road where NCR (that’s North County Road) 21 ends, and an old ranch fence barricades about 20 apple trees from the oncoming traffic.  When I was living there, I never had the courage to stop the car and climb into that orchard.  Maybe that regret is singing somewhere in the back of my mind.  Or maybe I just never had the camera.

You see yourself differently surrounded by apple blossoms.  That’s a plain fact. Next year, you can visit me, and try it for yourself, if this orchard survives the developer who has  parked their trailer at then end of the rows, about 40 yards from the old sidewalk.  Or, maybe you can take a ride down NCR 21 in Larimer County and let me know how those trees are doing.  I feel I owe them something.

Farewell, Rosey Tree


Thinking about what to say is almost never the answer, any more than re-thinking what you have already said seems to help anything.  All I can promise is that if the Rosey Tree and I are still neighbors next spring, I will visit her.  I will ask her the same questions as always:

Who brought you here?
Why are you alone?
Can you please hold still, just for a second?
Can you show me how to live with some fraction of the beauty in myself?

And then, I went to the orchard.

Pinkness Revelled


The city girl in me is on alert as I climb up the old sidewalk to the Rosey Tree.  To make the pictures I want to see, I need time alone and unobserved.  The Rosey Tree is in an ideal spot for such moments.  And of course, its isolation is what scares me.

Because to find a picture, I might have to get lost.  Correction:  I will have to get lost.  Lost in the tree.  Lost in my eyes.  Lost to most of the world around me.  Lost from the self that is trudging across the grass with a tripod, for chrissake.

No matter where I am, finding a picture requires being vulnerable.  Requires forgetting why I can’t, or shouldn’t, do certain things.  It really doesn’t matter if anyone else is there to see, or not.  It is always a risk.  I am always afraid.

Somedays, I forget more readily than other days.  Somedays,  I leave  unseen pictures hanging heavy from the branches, like the scraps of prayers tied to temple trees in Japan.  All I can do is hope the un-lost moments will carry forward on the breeze to another, braver day when 20 minutes, safely alone in the world, doesn’t seem too much to ask.

The Pinkness Irresistible


Its meaning is clear:  Come here.  Come over HERE.  Now -reach out.  Catch a little of the magic dust that has spilled across these tender folds.  Carry it, unawares, in the ridges of your fingers and spend it somewhere far away, rubbed against a sympathetic branch, which is waiting for just this intrusion.

It is not accident that we use these brazen delicacies to speak for us.  How could we admit such things to ourselves, any other way?

Magnolia Confusion


No, the sky wasn’t really that blue.  But it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with confusing the world we wish to see, and seeing the world as it actually is.   In fact, we get nowhere until we accept the reality of both visions.  Why do we need to know the difference between the shine of sunlight and the sparkle of buds yearning towards it, concentrating it into another substance altogether, distilling the starry presence into life itself?  As if the world as it actually is could be somehow less celestial than we can possibly dream.

Further Magnolia

palm magnolia

My yellow magnolia is a late bloomer.  By “my yellow magnolia,” I mean the one which the University Arboretum has been maintaining for me.  By “late bloomer,” I mean it blooms about a week after the pink magnolias uncup their  buds and drink in whatever the spring skies give forth.  This tree is easy to locate; in the spring, it is the only yellow tree on the entire grounds.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed last weekend when I went for my annual visit to the yellow magnolia.  The long, puckered petals untwisted randomly from its upright buds, forming asymmetrical shapes that didn’t seem to say “flower.”  Their color was pale, barely more than cream, when butter is the shade I remember.    The branches were thick with jagged twigs, tipped with lonely flowers on the very end, an odd mix of over abundance and isolation.

I stayed with this tree for a long time.  I love it so very much.  Maybe I feel we are alike in some ways, taking our losses with the risk that later, when the time is right, our potential may not quite be reached.  We make what we can of the moment, when it comes, and feel a certain gratitude for what is gained, which is, after all, another shot at another imperfect moment, this time, next year.



Forsythia needs no explanation from me.

I hope you never get bored with pictures of my hands dug deep into branches of blossoms.  Because I can’t help myself.

More than Magnolia


When I pause to create an entry to share, often my heart is throbbing with guilt.  The day is not going as it should.  My little ship is rapidly approaching the Falls, which I am sure to tumble over, just as soon as lunch is finished.  Honestly, I don’t know how I manage to write anything at all, sometimes.

But of pink magnolias, and blue skies, I have no doubts.  They will always, always be more than I can see at once.  I can crane my neck and hold my breath and never know for sure, until it is too late to try again.  Failure is almost guaranteed.  But it is my truest pleasure to keep trying.

Magnolia Found


It takes a long, long time to find the skyward path.  Reaching into thin air is key.  Twists and turns are not a problem.  Everywhich way, you grow.