Spring’s Second Day at the Zoo

26 03 2017

Spring’s Second Day at the Zoo

The real story

Is the robins.

They strut, and fight, and

Explore their urban world anew

In the softer air this second

Day. All the birds seem to know it,

That true frost is behind us –

That there is safety

In boldness.

 

The giraffe, always curious

About the humans who raised him

Stretches to greet me,

Another one passing by.

I like to think

He remembers when

I met him on my second day

Working at the zoo.

 

The siamangs huddle casually,

Still a bit sleepy and cold

But glad of the growing sunshine.

On my way back through

They are basking on a higher branch;

The sun has won them over, but

They are not yet hooting for joy.

That will come, they know;

The animals,

All of them

Adapted to a new life

Still possess the deep ways

Of season,

Of death, and therefore

Of truly living.

 

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Lessons from my Garden

29 06 2016

This summer began with a new development in my home garden: after the first few years of shade-gardening with native plants, a light-gap has opened in the woods from a tree falling last year, allowing me to finally pursue a dream of vegetables. My husband and I put in the small, square raised bed; I planted a modest selection of tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper plants; and we fenced it in for protection from ever-present, hungry wildlife.

The first lesson I am confronting is patience.

I believe the seemingly contradictory qualities of impatience and distraction are responsible for my long history of a black thumb. Sometimes I smother my plants with eager watering and prodding; other times, I forget my charges, and they wither from neglect. I have begun to see that vegetables are delicate; if I want any kind of yield, I have to be diligent but not clingy.

Still, as I water them daily, I purse my lips and examine the stalks (gently!) for signs of new flowers.

I also have newfound gratitude for rain. I have always loved rainy days almost more than sunny ones, but rain takes on new meaning now, a direct sign of divine providence. “No need to water today!” I think, with a sigh of contended relief. It’s work lugging the big watering can up to the light gap, far from the hose’s reach.

All this watering gives me greater respect than ever for our crops’ tremendous strain on resources. Just seeing the daily amount my four plants require easily paints a picture in my mind of that amount magnified across our groaning planet. And it occurs to me that all of us, whether omnivore or carnivore, vegetarian or vegan, should be humbled by what it takes to provide for our needs on a daily basis.

Who knew such lessons await in such humble, green places?





Pay Attention to the Sea

30 07 2011

Today I borrow from a soulful blog, From the House of Edward,  to bring you this thought. I hope it can enrich your day, whether you find yourself facing the sea in person or in your mind.

Slow down.
Notice.
Remember.
When the breeze blows in from off the sea and finds you, stop for a moment to think about the way it feels as it brushes your cheek. Remember the salty fragrance of nature’s perfume. Let your eyes gaze out over and into the blue of the water till you can see that colour behind closed eyes in your sleep.
After all, none of us can remember what we don’t notice in the first place.
*~*




The Hummer and the Butterfly

28 07 2011
Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

The tiger swallowtails are out.

They are floating, sometimes recklessly, sometimes purposefully, their yellow bright against the blazing skies of July. They cross our 21st century byways, but they are just passing through our chronology. Theirs is an evolutionary time and place, one built – as layers of sand become the shore –  tiny life by tiny life.

Watching them, I can feel the simplicity of that life, if only for a tiny moment.

Then, one floats between me and the yellow Hummer in front of me. Its license plate reads, “Our Farms, Our Future.” Behind me, the couple smokes, his Bluetooth on, her tailgating mindlessly.

We are also in an evolutionary timeline. Which will predominate – the Hummer or the Butterfly? The moment or the mindless?

We can tell ourselves that one person cannot influence such monumental forces as evolution. I say, it depends what is evolving, and what we want to come of it.





I heart baby leaves.

26 04 2011
A pink-flowered Cornus florida

Image via Wikipedia

This is one of the many thoughts I have while driving home. I am fortunate to have a pleasing landscape around me on my way to and from work. Perhaps I’m still partially asleep in the mornings, but the evening brings more contemplation.

It has likely been said before, but each Spring I feel that it has never been this Spring, this almost unexpected beauty. I feel my winter self wiping the crust from its eyes and taking a deeper breath. The entire green world is a translucent emerald gem dotted with redbuds and dogwoods in bloom. Grass is a novel, electric smell.

Life is good, even during rush hour, even after a long day’s work. I marvel at the power of nature, even through the glass windows of a car, to calm and reconnect me to a powerful force: Spring.

These are my thoughts on this great season. Oh, and I heart baby leaves – they are so cute!





Preparing for Spring

20 02 2011
Garden with some tulips and narcissus

Image via Wikipedia

Some say it’s here. The groundhog said it would come before March 21st, if you can believe him. Others are not convinced by the temporary, even frighteningly warm spell we just experienced.

All I can say is, undoubtedly, things are happening underground. Along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor yesterday, tulips were shooting up, just waiting for the days to lengthen sufficiently for their big debut. I smelled a disgruntled skunk while driving through the countryside. Yes, it’s true: animals and plants are stirring. And so should we!
Do you long for greeness and warmth again? Ever so slowly, resume your springtime self. Wear bright colors. Dust something. Water your long-suffering indoor plants. Turn your face up to the sky and think spring thoughts. It won’t be long now!

How are you preparing for Spring?





. . . And we’re back

23 01 2011

I decided that I want to continue the blog, but on more casual terms. For instance, I will post when the mood strikes and let myself write on more wide-ranging topics. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts, as always. And now, a poem about winter on the Maryland shore, by me.

The Inlet in Winter

The inlet in winter

Whispers stoic peace;

Waves slip

Into secrets

And retreat,

Telling no one, as the secrets

Mean nothing

Under subtle skies.

Nearby,

the maritime woods

snuggle together, protecting

their summertime scent.

We are mere visitors,

Temporary distractions

From the weighty work

Of winter

In their bones.

*~*








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