In Honor of DST

In honor of Daylight Savings Time, my feet not being cold because of this beautiful spring weather, and the headache I have for the same reason (spring = pollen in Georgia), tonight I leave you with the beauty that lifted my heart today.

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The tea olive just outside the door.  Heaven SCENT.  I do hope heaven smells just like this.  Makes me think of my Daddy who loved them too, every single time.  

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This time of year I start driving by peach orchards…..that aren’t on the way home.  They always seem to feel like home.  

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Look at her, all dolled up and ready to go!  I love a pruned peach tree more than a lot of things in this world.  She takes me back.  My favorite vision in spring…..

So my black vehicle might be green from the coat of pollen on it (and no, I’m not going to wash it off, it’ll just be green again tomorrow–my plan is to wait it out) and my head might hurt from allergies, but I was able to get a walk in with warm toes and sunshine AFTER we got home from our day to dailies this evening.  It’s finally that time of year that I don’t feel quite so rushed because the darkness doesn’t seem to be peeking from around the corner, ready to pounce just when I get going good.

May nature’s beauty reach out and grab you in a joyful dance today!

Love to all.

Ode to Spring and Welcome

Though I complain about the pollen that turns everything an interesting shade of yellow or green and has my nose and sinuses on the run, little can lift my spirits from the quiet contemplative state of winter like the appearance of the blossoms in the spring.  The glimpse of beauty bursting open, seemingly from out of nowhere touches my heart and gives me hope.  If beauty can come from what once looked like an old dead stick, well, you can see where my heart takes that.

In an effort to share just a bit of joy with you all, I offer you these glimpses I’ve had of such beauty in the past few days.

 

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From my Bradford pear–good gravy, I do love those Bradford pears.  They are such wonderful divas, so full of color as the fall comes–their glossy dark green dresses turning all shades of autumn.  So beautiful that one might think them spent until the following fall.  But no, they come out of the slumber of winter all dressed for the dance in their finest ball gowns of white…..

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with a tinge of pink.

 

 

 

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And then’s there’s the Loropetalum.  So dainty and exotic looking all at the same time.  Glorious color everywhere!  She greets me and all who come with her beauty and colorful blooms and leaves.

 

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Oh me.  My very favorites.  The tea olive, offering up the finest scent from its tiny cluster of blossoms.  I once told my Daddy, who had planted the very first one I’d ever met at the corner of the house at Blackberry Flats, that the fragrance from the tea olive was what I hoped Heaven smelled like.  It was love at first sniff.  I have one by each door into my house, and I often finding myself stopping and taking time to smell the tea olives.  Be forewarned, if I’m around one and you are with me, I will make you ask you to smell it.  Because when I experience beauty that touches me to my very core, I might just feel compelled to share it with all who cross my path.  So it is with the tea olive.  We planted one out at the cemetery on Daddy’s first birthday after he left this world.  I love that I can go out there and catch the delicate perfection that is the scent of the tea olive, while my Daddy is experiencing the real thing firsthand.

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My little guy and I visited Wesleyan, my alma mater, last Thursday evening.  The cherry blossoms were in full force, just in time for the opening of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  This group of beautiful trees stands close, tucked away behind Candler Alumnae building.

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As we walked through the trees, I remembered an evening just about twenty-five years ago exactly, when I had made myself a sandwich in my room and walked out to sit on that bench at dusk and contemplate the changes that were about to come in six weeks and some odd days–graduation and all that followed.  It was the “all that followed” that I wasn’t very sure about.  It scared me, but I remember finding peace and hope sitting there, hidden and protected by the umbrella of blossoms.

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Oh and the Geese.  On front campus.  They aren’t the friendliest of sorts, much like other creatures we are starting to see as the weather becomes a little less frigid.  And I realize they aren’t really signs of spring, but they always make me smile and I am reminded that I am not alone.

 

May you all find something that ignites the hope that lies deep within you.  And may it open and blossom just like the buds on the Bradford pear, the grande dame of the seasons herself.

Love and hope to all.

 

What the Gnats Are Really For

When I was on my evening walk, possibly exercising my arms and lungs more than any other body part–as I waved and blew at gnats–I realized I couldn’t open my mouth without risk of swallowing those ever-present insects.

It was when I looked around, mouth shut tight, that it occurred to me.

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If only for a moment or two.   And what I saw was glorious.  Spring has sprung, and summer isn’t far behind.

And it sure beats a postprandial snack of gnats.

 

Love and wishes for a nice evening walk to all.

 

Y’all just look at that purple!

Sunday afternoon found us at my Aunt’s house.  A place of sanctuary and peace for me.  Maybe partly because it’s a place to go that Mt. Washmore doesn’t threaten to take me down nor is the sink threatening to erupt from all the dirty dishes.  But mostly I think it feels that way for me because it’s a place where things settle and grow–flowers, vegetables, fruit, animals, children, and souls.  It’s a place to set a spell and just visit.  And I love that they let me do that.

It was a beautiful day.  The littles always head immediately to the swings.  My Princess had already been told by my Cousin to ask his Mama, my Aunt, if she could pick the flowers.  They have such beautiful daffodils around the trunks of many of the pecan trees out there.  I was sure she wouldn’t want them picked, but when Princess asked, my Aunt told her to pick all she wanted.

Gracious.

Princess smiled the biggest smile and headed off to pick some flowers.  She passed by every bunch of daffodils and headed straight for the purple “flowers” over near the garden.  She skipped as she went, the bounce in her step showing her joy.  She had no idea she was about to pick what many would call “weeds.”

My Aunt looked astonished and then we both began laughing.  That’s how it goes, isn’t it?  You put time and energy and effort into something and it’s the thing that you had very little or nothing to do with that knocks people’s socks off.

Been there.  Some nights I sit and ponder and edit and worry and obsess and really pour sweat and tears into what I write, and it sits there commentless and nothing happens.  And then I write something about an earthworm on the sidewalk outside or vent about things when I have a splitting headache and folks respond whole-heartedly.  I’m not complaining, mind you, and neither did my Aunt.  It’s just one of those things that makes you laugh about how the world works.

It’s been a while, maybe even two years ago, since my Pastorfriend shared this but it stays with me, especially this time of year.  She shared a line from “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. –Alice Walker, “The Color Purple”

I think she’s right.  About it all.  And ever since my friend shared this with us, I have made it my job to notice purple fields.  Weeds or no, they are beautiful.   When I see them, I call out, “Purple!” and inevitably one of us will say, “Good job, God!”  I love the fields of purple.  Beauty coming from an unexpected place.  I embrace that and give thanks for it.

Just like today.

Our Princess' bouquet she picked for me today.  I don't have a picture of the beautiful purple bouquet from Sunday.

Our Princess’ bouquet she picked for me today. I’m sad I don’t have a picture of the beautiful purple bouquet from Sunday.

We stopped by my Aunt’s again this afternoon, and I hope it becomes a habit.  (Hope they mean it when they say y’all come back now.)  We were pulling carrots and talking about nothing and everything and swinging and picking more flowers.  Princess thinks she might become a florist, and I think she has an eye for it.  As my bag was nearing full, my Aunt asked if we’d like any onions.

Onions?

That makes me tear up.  And not because they’re, well, you know, onions.

I love onions.

I love their bottoms and their tops.  I love the way they taste and everything about them.  When I was in college two of my classmates were cooking in the dorm kitchen on second floor.  It smelled heavenly.  When I walked by and said so, one said, “Oh, it’s just onions so far, but we’re adding meat and making spaghetti.”  The other said, “My Mama always said, if you need folks to think you’re cooking something delicious but you haven’t got it together yet, throw an onion in the skillet and you’ll buy yourself some time.”  (Usually for me it’s time to figure out what exactly I’m going to fix for this crew, but yes, someone always says, “Supper smells good.”  Thanky, thanky very much.)

When we pulled up the first one, Cooter came over and said, “Can I pull one too?”  These were a little more stubborn than the carrots had been.  My Aunt pointed out that maybe she should have brought the trowel to make it easier, which made so much more sense than what I first thought I heard her say–a towel.  (Well, maybe it would have helped us grip a little better and not pull the greens off?  I’m just sayin.)  I helped him get one out of the ground, or maybe he helped me.  Anyway, I stood up and offered it to him.

“Smell it,” I told him.  “That’s what springtime in Georgia smells like.”

And it does.

The beautiful onions we pulled today.  The smell of spring.

The beautiful onions we pulled today. The smell of spring.

The flowers are lovely and beautiful and their smell is pretty.  But I’ll leave that nectar to the hummingbirds and bees and yellowjackets and Billy bees that will be buzzing around all too soon.  As far back as I can remember, I have loved the smell of wild onions growing in a field behind Blackberry Flats.  Or out at my Granny’s.  Or when I’d catch a whiff of them, going down a highway, with them growing in the median or on the shoulder of the road.

It’s almost as a good as a tea olive–it’s a balm for the soul.

Today, a day that started off with rain and worries over numbers and things that set my head to spinning and my heart to craving simpler times, by afternoon was filled with the things of soul tanning.  Sunshine, gorgeous cerulean sky straight from a Maxfield Parrish painting (oh y’all), green is starting to show more and more, folks helping other folks, laughter (thank you Lord), and the smell of fresh picked onions.

"Ecstasy" by Maxfield Parrish from maxfieldparrish.info  I once had a sweatshirt with this painting on the front.  This work of art has always touched my heart.

“Ecstasy” by Maxfield Parrish from maxfieldparrish.info I once had a sweatshirt with this painting on the front. This work of art has always touched my heart.

Oh me.  What a day.

On the way home the purples were more vivid, and the sun was more golden, and it occurred to me that this time next week, we will have more sunlight to enjoy.  Well, maybe not, but still…..as much as I love me a gray, rainy day, I do love me some beautiful barefeet weather.  And not to have to rush to have time to get supper done and walk Miss Sophie because we have more time in the evening? Well, I say bring it.

Wishing you all a purple field and the heart and soul to appreciate it.

Love to all.