The green tide is rising -- verdant green grass, gauzy green bushes, trees either still bare or decking themselves in fancy fringes and furbelows.
The following poem, April Prayer, by Stuart Kestenbaum, struck me as fitting well with these April photos:
Just before the green begins there is the hint of green
a blush of color, and the red buds thicken
the ends of the maple’s branches and everything
is poised before the start of a new world,
which is really the same world
just moving forward from bud
to flower to blossom to fruit
to harvest to sweet sleep, and the roots
await the next signal, every signal
every call a miracle and the switchboard
is lighting up and the operators are
standing by in the pledge drive we’ve
all been listening to: Go make the call.
More of the spring roller-coaster ride. Friday was warm and lovely and John called from work and said, "Let's have a picnic supper." So we did, walking through Witmer Woods down to the college cabin. We found a number of trees with tassels of various sorts. And one lone sock, left on a campus sidewalk, presumably while the owner reveled in walking barefoot through the grass.
The warmth brought the daffodils out -- just in time for the cold temperatures and inch of snow early this week. But today the sun is shining, the daffodils are still bright yellow, and I've spotted a fox sparrow running from bush to bush in my backyard (first time I've ever seen one here -- and he's going too fast for a photo).
Spring is the bright white and gold of crocus pushing their way up through green pachysandra in a sheltered window well. Spring is also the muck and mess of dirty piles of snow slowly melting on a gray cloudy day. It's a path through woods that are still wintry gray and it's sun on last year's sunlit leaf hanging by this year's bud. It's the mud in the middle of the path and it's the new life tentatively emerging.
Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly,
Or so the song goes. To me, lavender looks, well, lavender -- a light purple, on gray green stems. A very soothing combination of colors, and one that is thriving in my garden at the moment. Several bouquets are drying on my porch as well, filling the air with soothing scents.
Sunflowers and daylilies cast bright golden notes, and play with sunshine and shadow. I'm taken with the mix of blooms and buds on my spikey purple plants, and with their fragrance -- lavender, sage, and mint in these photos. Mint and lavender are cool and elegant, but the sage is more fuzzy and amusing.
The coreopsis are still gilding the prairie plantings on campus, but the arrival of the next batch of performers is imminent -- there are buds everywhere you look.
Judy M tells me that another name for the spiderwort is Trinity Flower -- for obvious reasons. They continue to bloom amidst the prairie plantings on campus, where I've been enjoying the interplay of light and shadow on green leaves and flowers. There are a host of buds just about to burst into bloom -- an ever-changing canvas.
Spring keeps dancing on the threshold, teasing us with a day of sun and warm temperatures, followed by gray, windy days and frost. But she can't hide completely. There are hints of new life everywhere.
The Elkhart Truth editorial cartoon this morning showed an outlined paint-by-number April landscape of two glum-looking people walking their dog. The color key read: 1. Gray, 2. Gray, 3. Gray, 4. Gray, 5. Gray, 6. Gray.
April indeed. But April showers also bring April flowers. The daffodils and Siberian iris are bright spots of color, even when covered with raindrops. The bridal wreath spirea is a tangle of bare branches with tiny buds of green and a king's ransom of raindrop gems. And a pair of house-hunting ducks came wandering through the back yard, perfectly content with the weather.
The violets under my front step are blooming and fragrant, and there is a violet carpet under the bushes nearby. The mini-daffodils, barely four inches tall, have opened, and the taller daffodils are on the verge of it. Our forsythia hasn't quite burst out yet, nor the flowering quince, but they are both brimming with potential. And all along the canal yesterday, John and I spotted pairs of mallards, some scouting good nesting sites and others checking out the fast food menu, bright orange feet splashing.
Palmer continues his seasonal metaphor for the inner journey by turning from winter's dormancy to the paradoxes of spring.
Spring is the season of surprise when we realize once again that despite our perennial doubts, winter’s darkness yields to light and winter’s deaths give rise to new life. So one metaphor for spring is “the flowering of paradox.” As spring’s wonders arise from winter’s hardships, we are invited to reflect on the many “both-ands” we must hold to live fully and well – and to become more confident that as creatures embedded in nature, we know in our bones how to hold them.
The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring; these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love. But in the spring we are reminded that human nature, like nature herself, can hold opposites together as paradoxes, resulting in a more capacious and generous life.
A Hidden Wholeness, p 82 - 3
Above, a dead and decaying log -- filled with moss, lichen and tiny mushrooms. The close-up is below.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"