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
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.
I’m thrilled to have a piece in the summer issue of Edible Grand Traverse just in time for this year’s garlic harvest!
Not all, but a few
As I pulled the car over
onto the side of the road
and jumped out
my clippers in hand,
having watched this stretch of hillside for weeks,
for the pink wild roses
to bloom in their close-to-the-ground,
almost secret sprawl.
thorns and all
embedded in my finger tips,
a blood red effort I will remember
each time we drive past
Three years ago, the girls and I started nature journaling. What this looks like, for us, is gathering natural objects from our garden and walks; laying them all out over the table; and sketching and watercolor painting in our journals. We also write the names of plants and creatures and other items in French when we are inspired. Nature journaling is definitely about the process for us. We did it regularly for about two years and then got out of practice. Today we gathered around the table again, and I was so happy . . . even when Wallace started painting blue stripes all over his arms. I hope we will make space to nature journal all summer and into the fall. There’s nothing quite like the meditative space it inspires.