HomeUncategorizedstrange mix

I wake up this morning a strange mix of jubilation and despair. The rising Sun glints on the railing of my balcony and I rush outside. The air is cold, and I lay my still sleeping palms on a thick soppy frost. It immediately melts. I glance down to my garden with a heaving sigh. I’ll go down later and see what damage has been done. The lupines were in full flower, but they are pretty hardy. The uppermost flower buds of the peonies were just beginning to reveal their burlesque ruffles. What about the borage, the calendula? What about the poppies in the garden along the South wall? Or the tomatoes and heliotrope that haven’t even been planted in the ground…

If the tomatoes have been nipped then there will be a run on tomato plants at our local greenhouse. Which means I’d best get up and get going, see what needs re-planting, see what has suffered from the icy tooth of crystalline dew.

And while this motivates me, turns my attention towards something that needs doing, I still linger with this strange mix that is delight at being alive, and a sadness with the way things are. I suppose that, more than anything, it means I’m really present to the day, to the glory and green of spring, while a late frost bites at the tenderness of life.  I’ll stay with it, not rush off for tomatoes or whatever else might grab my attention.  And I’ll settle into breathing, deep down, and remember that I’m so happy to be here, in this garden of Earth.  With frost or without, there’s a mystery to being alive that can’t ever be laid out under a microscope, there’s a mystery to life on Earth that unravels me and bares my heart to both the frost and the green, and like the peony I’m still planning on flirting out my pink skirt, I’m still planning on blooming.

p.s.  I just took the above photo…it looks like most everything will be fine, even my tomatoes!  The only things that got hit really hard were the marigolds my kids gave me for mother’s day.  They are limp and wilted. 🙁


strange mix — 2 Comments

  1. for some reason, your post made me think of a poem by Linda Pastan:


    In ethics class so many years ago
    our teacher asked this question every fall:
    If there were a fire in a museum
    which would you save, a Rembrandt painting
    or an old woman who hadn’t many
    years left anyhow? Restless on hard chairs
    caring little for pictures or old age
    we’d opt one year for life, the next for art
    and always half-heartedly. Sometimes
    the woman borrowed my grandmother’s face
    leaving her usual kitchen to wander
    some drafty, half imagined museum.
    One year, feeling clever, I replied
    why not let the woman decide herself?
    Linda, the teacher would report, eschews
    the burdens of responsibility.
    This fall in a real museum I stand
    before a real Rembrandt, old woman,
    or nearly so, myself. The colors
    within this frame are darker than autumn,
    darker even than winter—the browns of earth,
    though earth’s most radiant elements burn
    through the canvas. I know now that woman
    and painting and season are almost one
    and all beyond saving by children.

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