Welcome to another Thursday in April, filled with poetry!
"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep the spring from coming."
I love watching spring . . . unfold . . . in my garden. It's like a miracle every single day out there! I mean, one minute everything is totally bleak and colorless and cold and bare, and the next? Hellebores are popping up (through the snow, even) to say "hey!" It really is poetry . . . happening right before your eyes.
During the long winter, sometimes it's hard to remember that spring is going to come back again.
But it does.
It gives me hope. It renews my spirit. It fills me with the good stuff again!
Have I ever told you about my larch tree? (Some of you might be more familiar with its other name . . . tamarack.) I bought it at the Master Gardener plant sale one May, many years ago now, to plant next to the little pond Brian and Tom were putting in for me at the time. The little larch was about 18" tall, and I thought it would look very nice next to my new pond. I didn't know much about larches at that point, but I've learned a lot about them since!
Like . . . that they can grow to be over 120 feet tall!
(And mine is on the way. . . )
You can see it out my living room window there . . .on the left.
Originally, I meant for it to cast a little shade over my pond. I really had no idea it would get as big as it did (is). I also had no idea it would make such a pretty picture out my big window! Guests to our house (y'know . . . back when we had those) always assume I created that space with the pond and the larch on purpose -- to be viewed from my living room. I'd like to take credit, but it was pure serendipity.
Larches are conifers. But they're an unusual kind of conifer: they're deciduous! That means . . . their needles (which are very soft) turn a brilliant gold in the fall, and then fall off. Leaving a very dead-looking tree in the landscape. (Another thing I didn't know when I planted it.)
Here is my (absolutely stunning) larch in the fall . . .
and here it is, weeks later, when all the needles fall off and it looks like a giant Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
Every year, about now - and especially that first year, I start to worry about whether or not my larch will come back. It always seems to be so dead-looking for so long. But then . . . overnight (seriously) . . . spring comes again for my larch, and the green needles pop out again!
(That's looking out my window yesterday morning.)
My larch is a visible reminder for me . . . of new beginnings. Of starting again. Of renewal!
Poetry, I tell you!
It's everywhere in my garden.
For me, nothing brings a sense of beginining again . . . like spring.
At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
Today's poem can be found in New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry, 2012, Counterpoint. For more information about the poet, check out his entry at Poets.org.