Wednesday, April 30, 2014

As If Spring Were a Feast

In the last fifteen days, we have had twelve days of rain.
This is getting ridiculous.
We haven't gone anywhere since Sunday, and the baby is the most stir-crazy of us all.
Today is going to be exciting.
We're going to the home-improvement store to look for new kitchen faucets.
I haven't bought anything new for my kitchen in ages. In fact, this week our dishwasher broke. We thought we'd have to buy a new one, but my handyman (for real, he's a handyman) husband found a part to fix the old one, which is not that old, and I am delighted.
"Planned obsolescence" is at the tippy-top of my list of pet peeves.
As far as I'm concerned, things should last for years, roughly forever.         

The irises are poking through the cold, leaf-covered garden beds.
Oh irises, how I love you.
One of the best poets around wrote about you, and I will let his poem do the talking here:


Mid April already, and the wild plums
bloom at the roadside, a lacy white
against the exuberant, jubilant green
of new grass and the dusty, fading black  
of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet,
only the delicate, star-petaled
blossoms, sweet with their timeless perfume.

You have been gone a month today
and have missed three rains and one nightlong
watch for tornadoes. I sat in the cellar
from six to eight while fat spring clouds
went somersaulting, rumbling east. Then it poured,
a storm that walked on legs of lightning,
dragging its shaggy belly over the fields.

The meadowlarks are back, and the finches
are turning from green to gold. Those same
two geese have come to the pond again this year,
honking in over the trees and splashing down.
They never nest, but stay a week or two
then leave. The peonies are up, the red sprouts
burning in circles like birthday candles,

for this is the month of my birth, as you know,
the best month to be born in, thanks to you,
everything ready to burst with living.
There will be no more new flannel nightshirts
sewn on your old black Singer, no birthday card
addressed in a shaky but businesslike hand.
You asked me if I would be sad when it happened

and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house
now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots
green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner,
as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that.
Were it not for the way you taught me to look
at the world, to see the life at play in everything,
I would have to be lonely forever. 

Well I've gotta fly. Malachi just ran into the bathroom and fell headlong into the edge of the toilet (he's fine, but now we're both crying. He because of the toilet, and me because of that poem).

If you plant pansies, try under planting them with pansy seeds. Just about the time the greenhouse flowers start to get leggy, the new pansies will be coming into their own.
Because that's how gardening, and life, works.
Something is always growing.
Even during this doggone rain.

Welcome spring, indeed.

Hills of England by Ben Kyle, a perfect song for this week.

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