Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's a Growing Time

Springtime is my favorite gardening season. Everything is so new and full of possibility.

The Ozark Black apple tree that tried so hard to die last year has rallied in a nearly miraculous way, filling out, blooming and setting fruit. Its companion, the Winter Banana, is abundant with apples to the point of needing thinned. St. Francis stands careful watch over them day and night.

No, there's not much to eat yet. A bit of lettuce, a radish or two. But there's arm loads of iris to perfume the house and peonies close to bursting. My grandmother's poppies are beginning to open, shocking the bed with iridescent orange. Purple cone flowers sport crowns that will turn to buds, and eventually to seeds the finches adore.

Tomatoes and peppers are new and without blemish. As I weed around their still fragile stems, I dream of fresh salsa, bruschetta and caprese salad. Herbs are taking over. Mint has marched into the yard, no amount of tea, mojitos or juleps could ever use it all, but try we must as the run for the roses approaches.

Blueberries are flush with tiny nibs, still green, while the blackberries continue in a riot of fluffy white. They'll both soon need netted, lest we lose the crop to birds.

From the sprouts to the budding, the flowers to the frisky birds, it's a time of miracles. Hope. It's a growing time.

"It's a growing time
It's the springtime of the year
It's a growing time
The sun is moving near
It is yours and mine
The days are ours to share
Within our peaceful garden
And this growing time so fair"
-Dan Fogelberg

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Always climbing

Mountains, stairs, figurative, literal, it seems I'm always climbing, yet rarely find the top. Perhaps that is the way life is supposed to be, striving eternally. If you stop learning, you stop living. I agree, but must everything be a never ending ascent of Everest? Treadmills, stair climbers, elipticals, spin bikes. Our most popular exercise equipment is all about going nowhere forever. The mentality of them has crept out into the world, poisoning the joy of just being.

There is something to be said for being. Lying in the grass and watching the birds feed. Sitting on the river bank and enjoying the play of sunshine sparking on the lapping water as it rolls by. Walking aimlessly down the beach in the moonlight and listening to the roar and crash of waves and sea. Or is the restoration of my soul through the simple quiet of being also a continuous climb... toward peace?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Too long in the wasteland

These trees, photographed three weeks ago, are now covered in tiny chartreuse leaf sprouts. But I like them bare. Naked to bone, nothing to hide, comfortable in their own stark reflection. Dimming sky and a pale full moon laid the winter to waste.

Now I'm planting. The lawn is mowed, purple henbit and violets that covered the hill are just memory. So many first flowers of spring wear shades of my favorite color. Crocus, grape hyacinth, tiny bluebells just emerging; it begs you to wonder why. Then the dandelions, forsythia and daffodils chime in, spreading golden cheer. Spring's not a secret anymore.