Two friends introduced me to roses. Growing roses in the garden. Wearing roses on the skin. Last summer I fell in love with this delicate apricot beauty, Roald Dahl (from the David Austin Roses). This afternoon I’m going outside to prune my first rose bush for the first time.
Sunshine is a gift.
Even with a sore back, I want to be outside today, moving around, face illuminated by the light, blinded by sparkle and white, taking compost to the chickens, pulling a sled, gathering frozen kale from a garden covered in snow.
Wallace isn’t so sure.
He drags behind, thick in his suit, collapsing onto the ground, pulling off his mittens.
I make my way down to the chicken coop.
Theo waits, curious about compost but leery of the electric fence, making dog-breath steam in the bright, icy air.
At bedtime, snuggled under the covers, Wallace wonders about fireflies.
“Do you remember how they light up, blinking, all over our front field?” I ask him.
“In the summer?
When it is warm and humid in the tall grass?”
But it’s hard to remember
I let my hands travel
over the layered trunk in winter
and stood breathless
under her blooms in spring.
Carried home a handful,
wrote in their company,
returned in the rain.
I cried hot and bedraggled
tears falling to join a carpet of petals,
the blush of pink at my feet.
Flowers lost forever.
Weeks later, she called me back
in an early morning mist.
Overwhelmed in my wet, green boots,
taken with her swelling,
witnessed only by the forest edge,
I asked a lonely question —
she answered in fruit.
Wer seines Lebens viele Widersinne
She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth—
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration
where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it’s you she receives.
You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.
Rilke’s Book of Hours Translated by Joanna Macy
Sometimes I just wander around in the garden and marvel. And sometimes we bring some of what is outside, inside. And wonder.