Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch

Our friends own woods. Wonderful woods. Amazing woods. It is a pocket of solitude disguised as a subdivision. If I lived there, most of my time would probably be spent down by the creek, playing songs to the coyotes and frogs. But the woods are a lot of work, and that would be my downfall. There's trails to clear, non-native invasive vegetation to control, perennials to plant in the verge between lawn and wood, vandalism to clean up; it's a never ending labor of love that I could only aspire to. Lucky, they are happy to share their little slice of paradise with us from time to time. We were lucky enough to catch the paw-paws in all their glory of full flower. Hundreds..... no, thousands of them. Like delicate brown bells, the blooms danced in the breeze, enticing the bees and inspiring us to dream of the sweet, custardy fruit that is still many months away.
As rare as a brown flower in nature is a green one. You just don't see wild jack-in-the-pulpit every day, let alone while strolling through your own back yard. Our woods friends can do just that. I fantasized myself Georgia O'Keeffe, studying the fascinating flowers in the dappled, golden light of a fading afternoon. Graceful lines swirling around and over, sheltering its hidden prize. Sturdy and yet ephemeral, surveying the surroundings, nodding in agreement that it is good. So easy to be lost in the woods, even if only in thought.

The day was over too soon. We said our good-byes as the red tailed hawk waved from his ride on the thermals. When we return there will be a host of new treasures offered up from the wood, maybe even some freshly picked fruit. Paw-paw ice cream, anyone?

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