Monday, February 2, 2009


I mark the seasons by plants. Some connections are obvious, strawberries and honeysuckle in June, apples and pumpkins in October. After the hard freeze in November, time seems to stop. By January, even the kale has given up the ghost.

In deep winter, rhythms cease. Some of us lose our way. Age teaches me little but patience. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes.

Now in February the ground remains frozen, and will be for another month or two. In a couple of weeks or so, however, impossibly green slivers of grass-like leaves will break through the ice, silver stripes down their middle. A couple of weeks after that, egg-shaped cups of purple and yellow and white will flare open with the sun, exposing bright yellow stamens, the first smell of sex since the world died.

The earliest flowers defy logic, brilliant bursts of color calling bees still slumbering in their hives.

This time of year, I have just about given up on prayer.

The first bright drops of color remind me just how little I know.

This is old--I plagiarized myself from E2.


Anonymous said...

This post made me think of Dryas integrifolia... amazing plant. I have never met another (ok- besides my research-partner-professor in college) male who could say they "mark the seasons by plants."

I am 40. I shudder to imagine a 20 year old who is able to develop such a love in the midst of the accountability-political-education mess of today.

When I started teaching... I taught a botany class as an honors elective in my high school. I had several students go on to study botany and or environmental science. Today it is tougher to make those vital connections between kids and their planet.

I am also connecting a poem I have always been fond of by Frost: "A Passing Glimpse." That one ID'd me as a tuned in 20-something flying down the highways of the western half of the country... slamming on the brakes for botanical beauty... and nailing many by glimpse alone from the driver's seat of my turd-brown '81 Celica.

I cannot wait for May. I need more time for my planet. I need more time the creatures that continue to fix carbon and free oxygen for me and my peeps. ;-)

doyle said...

I'm a tough guy--I think my image will survive my love of plants.

I do not know how we get back to the Garden, but I do know that unless we get kids reconnected to the sources of their lives, we are doomed as a culture.

Strong words, I know, but take a look around.

(Robert Frost is one of my all-time favorites....)

momomom said...

My earliest crocus they are preceeded by my even earlier snowdrops. Sadly my witch hazel was killed by a snow plow (true story).

doyle said...

Dear momomom,

I love the photos, and may borrow some for here.

Sorry about the witch hazel--

(And I hope your blog wakes up with the warming soil. I miss your words.)

momomom said...

You are welcome to any of the photos.