Wake up to Spring!
Wake up! Come outside to see
The blossoms on the cherry tree.
White blooms on cherry, pink on plum,
The sun is shining, oh, do come!
Now come outside, the sun is high,
The air is warm and blue the sky.
The daffodil and tulips bright,
Yellow and red are quite a sight!
Well, how about now, will you come out?
The birds are flying all about.
Oh come to sit beneath the tree
To hear them sing so joyfully!
The sun is setting in the west,
The birds have retired to their nest.
But you can still come out to sit,
Enjoy the cool night air a bit.
Oh, why didn't you listen to me,
Why did you not come out to see?
It was such a glorious Spring day!
Maybe tomorrow, you say?
Hope Springs Eternal
Every year around Thanksgiving, I plant bulbs. Into the ground go daffodils of many types and colors, grape hyacinths and irises. Tulips can only be planted in the backyard, as deer consider them a delicacy. This planting is often done on a cold, wintry day, when I would rather be inside, so I have to talk myself into going outside to plant. The air is cold, and my hands become numb. My feet, clad in moccasins, soon become wet. But I persist, knowing from experience the payoff that will come.
Next comes the period of waiting. December is cold, but I am busy with holiday preparations and then family visits. I pay little attention to the garden. Come the New Year, I am tired of the festivities and weary of the cold, dark days. I begin to long for Spring. Lo and behold, one January day, I see the bulbs poking their heads above the ground. A few have already grown tall. And on a warm, sunny day, the paperwhite narcissi burst into bloom. For a week or two, their heady aroma fills the air as their white heads appear everywhere in the garden.
Early Spring arrives in February. The bulbs, along with the tulip tree, are the first in the garden to herald Spring. After the white narcissi come the various yellow daffodils: small ones with red centers, large dark yellow ones, others with white outer petals and lemon yellow inner leaves. The hyacinths bloom as well, offering a dark blue background to the yellows. And last, come the irises. I love coming home on a rainy day to see yellow daffodils greeting me. The garden seems so much brighter.
I once was a Kindergarten teacher. I often noted the same phenomenon in my classroom. In the Autumn, I took the students I was given and tried to plant in them the desire to learn. At first, it was hard. They were not used to school; they got tired, they got hungry, they wanted to have their own way. They could barely hold a pencil, let alone write something. But over time, their leaves of learning began to show and grow. Finally, in January, they blossomed. Suddenly, they caught on. They knew the alphabet and many sight words. They could read simple books. They could write several sentences. And they began to work independently and to collaborate with other students. They had blossomed fully. They continued to bloom throughout the Spring, learning to read real books and to write full paragraphs. Then in June, I must let them go. So too, did the bulbs in the garden wither and disappear back into the ground.
But in August, the garden catalogue would arrive in the mail. Try as I would, I couldn’t (and still can’t) resist ordering a new batch of bulbs to plant in the Fall. And then I would begin to plan for my new crop of students, thinking about how to best instill in them the love of learning and help them bloom into a diverse array of brightly colored blossoms. For hope springs eternal.
Splendor and Poignance
Tulip dwarf trees pink and white,
Feast for eager smell and sight,
Life in all its brilliant splendor!
Tulip petals limp and blown,
Pain for mind, not heart alone,
Death in all its poignant presence!
An Epigram a Day:
Crops are born of cultivation, thoughts of cerebration.
Paradise can never be lost or ever regained, for it never was.
We are born to live and not to prepare for death.
The aroma of poetry appeals to the mind, that of perfume but to the nose.
Noumena are as perfect as phenomena are flawed.
Beauty is a figment of the imagination,
Wisdom is a distillate of the mind.
To simplify is to satisfy and to gratify.