Watercolor sketch of euphorbia

April is National Poetry Month, and before the month slips away, I wanted to try my hand at writing a little poem.  Here is a haiku in honor of this month-long celebration:

Euphorbia Flowers

Airy green perches,
Miniature lily pads,
delight errant bees.

First cutting of rhubarb

This week I harvested my first cutting of rhubarb and made a rhubarb pie.  Here’s a virtual visit to the rhubarb patch.  Wish I could give you a taste through the screen!

The rhubarb in my garden is flourishing in this cool spring weather.

Rhubarb's giant leaves make an extravagant bouquet, don't you agree?

Washing the rhubarb stalks in the sink

Colander with sliced rhubarb

Pie ingredients in one big bowl

Rhubarb pie filling

Rhubarb pie cooling on the kitchen counter

First slice, still warm

First taste of rhubarb pie this year

Savoring the last two bites

I used the same recipe that I posted two years ago.  Here is the link:  https://rosemarywashington.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/first-of-the-season-rhubarb-pie/.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
     — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Getting and spending . . .

 At the beginning of Walden, Thoreau looks about him and sees people who “appear to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways,” employed “laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal.” And when you think about it, this is still the prevailing convention — measuring success by the achievements of job, car(s), home, electronic paraphernalia, furnishings worthy of Martha Stewart, vacations, etc.  One trades a lot of hours to support a lifestyle like this, and unfortunately, many of those hours are boring and dispiriting (think of the spirit-deaths you suffer in meetings, doing record-keeping, paying bills, for example).  And yet, how few of us would advise our children to pursue a less conventional life instead.  I wonder why.

There are many paths to growth and fulfillment, and it takes courage to abandon a traditional career and choose a more uncertain path, but one that is in alignment with your individual yearnings.  Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss.”  And this might be the hardest way of all, but ultimately the most rewarding.

For me, figuring out how to live in a meaningful way is hard, but not desperate or boring. I’m still figuring it out.  Each small choice along the way adds to or detracts from life’s richness.  My decision to work parttime instead of full time is one example.  Now that my daughter is an adult and parenting demands have lightened, I certainly could choose to go back to work full time.  But I haven’t.  Parttime work gives my life more balance, and I’m willing to trade added financial security in retirement for the extra personal time now.

There may be other changes I can make, though, to live better at this stage in my life.  Imagine the possibilities!

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours . . .”
     — William Wordsworth

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it, blame yourself for you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.”
     — Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


Tulip design in my morning latte at Zoka's Coffee Shop

Late April tulip finally ready to bloom
Tulips in a euphorbia patch
Tulips ready to bloom

We’ve had one warm sunny day this month when the temperature reached a high of over 60 degrees F.  In March we had just two 60+ degree days.  But the tulips are finally beginning to bloom — welcome color this gray Spring.

Watercolor sketch of three tulips

Watercolor sketch of two tulips and euphorbia

Pale yellow star magnolia blossom

Magnolia buds and blossoms
Star magnolia in pale yellow

Until today, I’ve never seen magnolia blossoms in pale yellow.  This tree caught my eye on my walk home from Green Lake this morning.  I like it when my senses are awakened by something new and different.

Grape hyacinths growing through violet pansies

Watercolor sketch of grape hyacinths and pansies

“It was as if a cluster of grapes and a hive of honey had been distilled and pressed together into one small boss of celled and beaded blue.”
     — Ruskin

Happy, Eggy Easter

April 24, 2011

Easter eggs on our lawn

Easter eggs on the lawn

We dyed a few Easter eggs this year.

My kitchen window at Easter time

Watercolor sketch of Easter eggs

Happy Easter 2011!