Searching for Spring


Something about the first of March unleashed a yearning in me for green. Our weather has been ricocheting between frozen and fair. I grabbed my camera and went on a quest, hoping to capture a crocus. One crocus.

I found heaps of ugly.
Black snow banks.
A litter-strewn vacant lot.
Dead stalks gawking.

Color, where are you?dsc_1600A tiny leaf hung on through this severe winter.

dsc_1604Yay, daffs!!

Marvelous moss!!

dsc_1607Snow is sticking to the higher elevations. Side note: I am easily annoyed with the unimaginative street names in my town. A grid of the alphabet and numbers. But Penn Avenue follows O Avenue. Because no one wants to live on P Avenue!

dsc_1611Leftover red.

dsc_1613Now this is what I was searching for — that bright green that sings Spring!

I always return to this turret. Turrets are terrific. I’m counting on turrets in heaven.

Love the blue bench.

A befitting front door.

Voted Best Receptacle

Of course I had to peruse the Little Free Library. I took home The Martian.

I had given up on finding flowers. No crocus. But, three blocks from home, beauty interrupted my walk. I’m the worst at plant identification. If I called these Lily of the Valley would I be correct? I would be incorrect.  These are Snowdrops. They were an afternoon benediction.

Simple Springtime Pleasures

Grape tomatoes ~ a splendid snack-on-the-go

Green buds are visible! Yessss!!

Yellow and white and all things bright (and beautiful)

Chicks are only a simple pleasure when they come to Nana’s
house for a quick visit before they go home.

There is something precious about the first read
of a nourishing book. This was my husband’s
first time reading Trina Schart Hyman’s gloriously
illustrated Saint George and the Dragon.

We have come to the end of our wood for the first time in years.
It was a long winter.
Wood heat is the most comfortable way to get warm.

This is my new favorite treat.  Mix cinnamon and Truvia together.

Dip slices of apple (Granny Smith is my choice) in the cinnamon.

Set the slice on your tongue and savor the flavors. Yuuum!

Upgrading April

April, the Angel of Months
Vita Sackville-West

September and October have always been my favorite months.
Harvest, color, moderate temps, rewards for work.

April has been pleasant, but never made it in my top three favorite months.
It’s time to upgrade April.

Here’s why.

First the name.
This is about the happiest moment
of my brief career learning Latin.
April comes from the Latin “aperire” which means to open.
April is the opening month.

Open flowers.
Open windows.
Open gym shoes.
Open grave.
Opened eyes to color.
Opened ears to poetry.

April is National Poetry Month.

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring–
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. –Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Spring ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

…all in a rush with richness…
…all this juice and all this joy…

Don’t worry about getting it.
Take your time and savor the words.
Go slow and the meaning will come.

The Light is Back

Another sign of spring: there is a window of sunlight shining into our kitchen in the early mornings.  During the winter the yawning sun just can’t stretch its beams around to this spot.  Now it plays peek a boo for five minutes. In August it will linger long enough for a cup of tea.

The light that brightens the tulips and roses also illumines the bookshelf in the hallway.  Isn’t it odd how light can both lighten and lift our spirits?

William Cowper, my father’s favorite poet,
struggled with depression and wrote about the effect of light.

Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

(Click link for full lyrics)

~   ~   ~

God Moves in a Mysterious Way, another Cowper hymn,
was originally titled Light Shining Out of Darkness.

What is lightening your heart today?

Third World, Cheerios and Little Things

Here are a few tasty morsels that I’ve relished in my reading:

The world came apart into three segments —
the “First World: of free market trading nations,
the “Second World,” or Communist bloc,
and the economically underdeveloped
but politically emerging “Third World.

~ from Coming Apart, Coming Together  by Edward Kantowicz

[Do you know how many years I have wondered
about Third World countries?  If they are Third,
who is First and Second?  Never had it make sense
until this week. This is a ta-da! aha! wow! moment.]

~     ~     ~

The name Cerignola meant land of cereals,
and it was thus the origin of the word “Cheerios.”
It grew hard wheat, the best in Italy and possibly
the best in the world for making pasta.
The Romans stored the wheat in the ground,
silos in reverse.

~ from The Wild Blue by Stephen E. Ambrose

[Think c as in ciao!  I had to Google Earth Cerignola.
It is just south of the the spur on the back of the boot.
I zoomed in, trying to find the Roman holes in the
ground, but, alas, they are too small. ]

~     ~     ~

A little thing is a little thing,
but faithfulness in little things is a very great thing.

from A Chance to Die, The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael,
by Elisabeth Elliot

[How encouraging is that?  I’ll write a full review when I finish.]

The photo reflects my craving for spring.
We’ve awoken to snow for the last ten (?) days.
These are “four season days”. 
If you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour or two.
It will change.

Hello? Spring?

The first day of spring is one thing,
and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them
is sometimes as great as a month.
~ Henry Van Dyke

Snow on the car this morning.
Snow flurries this afternoon.
Daffs are still smiling, though!
I think of them as batteries storing sunshine.

*Addendum: At prayer last night,
a ten year old girl prayed,
“Lord, please make it stop snowing,
because it is the end of April.”

Neighbors are scraping
snow off their windshields
on the first day of May!

To the Class of 2007

“My concluding charge is this: First, love and honor your parents in all areas of life.  You graduates are going to be leaving home, but do not let your heart leave your parents….

Second, love God in all areas and corners of your life. You graduates will be leaving your homes, but do not let your hearts leave your God.

         ~ from a graduation speech given May 26, 2007
             used by permission from Mr. Boyd, emphasis mine

Here’s a question: do you ever have standard gifts that you give for special occasions? 

I’m looking for new ideas for graduations, weddings and baby showers.  I used to buy five copies of The Joy of Cooking at a time, so it was handy and available whenever I got a wedding invitation.  There is something serendipitous  when you find the perfect item, on sale, and pick up several for the future.  I’m a little low on serendipity these days….