March 27, 2017
by Maya Spector
It’s time to break out —
Time to punch our way out of
the dark winter prison.
Lilacs are doing it
in sudden explosions of soft purple,
And the jasmine vines, and ranunculus, too.
There is no jailer powerful enough
to hold Spring contained.
Let that be a lesson.
Stop holding back the blossoming!
Quit shutting eyes and gritting teeth,
curling fingers into fists, hunching shoulders.
Lose your determination to remain unchanged.
All the forces of nature
want you to open,
Their gentle nudge carries behind it
the force of a flash flood.
Why make a cell your home
when the door is unlocked
and the garden is waiting for you?
Here in Seattle, it’s too soon for lilacs. But with our lat spring, we await the blossoming of the cherry and plum trees. Any day now!
March 25, 2017
You can listen to actress Noma Dumezeni read Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” poem on the BBC at this link.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
March 10, 2017
March 9, 2017
“A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime, no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift, gratuitous, gratis, a grace.”
— David Steindl-Rast
“Beside the porch step
the crocus prepares an exaltation
of purple, but for the moment
holds its tongue. . . .”
— Jane Kenyon, from “Mud Season”
May 12, 2016
“The real world, in my opinion, exists in the countryside, where Nature goes about her quiet business and brings greatest pleasure.”
— Fennel Hudson
I am drawn to the countryside. I love its “quiet business.” The pre-dawn hour is especially lovely. I enjoy pulling to the side of the road, turning off the car’s ignition, and sitting in the quiet, watching the world awaken.
May 2, 2016
April 28, 2016
by Mary Ursula Bethell
It grows too fast! I cannot keep pace with it!
While I mow the front lawns, the drying green becomes impossible;
While I weed the east path, from the west path spring dandelions;
What time I sort the borders, the orchard escapes me.
While I clap my hands against the blackbird,
Michael, our cat, is rolling on a seedling;
While I chase Michael, a young rabbit is eyeing the lettuces.
And oh the orgies, to think of the orgies
When I am not present to preside over this microcosm!