Sunday, February 8, 2009
Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine's Day, Blogees.
Although blogs have "Followers", I am no guru. Follow at your own risk. I take no prisoners nor disciples. I may lead you down the garden path, which is actually just where I am going today....
More and more winter has come. In moderate Portland, known for its mild winters, we have had extended cold snaps and repeated days of snow flurries! Remarkable. And winds that blow us right off the school playground. In fact, the weathermen are having their best season ever, keeping people spellbound.
Darling Ron scraping my car off. Yet again.
A lovely vision one morning.
The Sango Kaku by the front door with nice fluffy pillows of snow
Yesterday, February 7, 2009, I woke up to blue sky and sunshine streaming in the window. I felt excited about going out to work in the yard. Those of you who know me well will know what a rare morning this was indeed.
Remember my last blog when I took the vows of maintain, restore, and create? Yesterday as I restored the yard from winter's travesties and owner's neglect I realized I need to add another word to my themes for the year. Recover. Us, that is. From trying to maintain and restore so much in one day that at 4 PM we crawled into the house muscles quivering, legs cramping, thirst quenching and lock-jawing. I was afraid to sit down for fear I'd never get out of the folded formation.
But what a glorious day! Ron weeded the beds along our 170' of street frontage, trying to figure out what was planned, what had volunteered, what was dead-and-gone or just dead-until-spring revival. He admits the annual/perennial definitions still confuse. He collected piles of debris, 3 garbage cans full.
I mowed the front yard, raked the beds around the house, weeded, and pruned. Ron pruned the big cherry which was encroaching on Matt's Memorial Weeping Cherry, and I took charge of the Scarlet Trumpet Vine which needed a firm hand.
The promise of a Yellow Magnolia tree.
The Queen Anne Cherry tree, a wonderful sight in blossom. Amanda's challenge is to get to eat the cherries before the birds do.
Me taking the Trumpet Vine to task. 55 degrees today.
The Witch Hazel about to burst. I never noticed this configuration before, the dark pods that look dead and yet on closer inspection are vibrant with life about to emerge. What a metaphor for winter, and the hibernation mentality I spoke of in "Feeling Bearish". I wasn't lethargic--I was just resting up to teem with life when the sun came out!
When I was was weeding under the lilac bed I encountered an arch enemy vine that has nearly strangled the lilac and another tree as well in the past. When everything is in leaf, it is hard to see its invasiveness, but in these bare leaf times it looks harmless, just a scrawny little twine-like thing growing for a foot or so out of the ground. I pulled and pulled. I got 2 or three of them out. Ron came by and I got him to pull. He likes to hack at things with a rake so he did. But a root was left. He pulled and pulled and concluded, "This is the sort that only comes out by prayer and fasting!" (Mark 9:29) I got quite a kick out of the comparison to casting out demons. Another metaphor from the garden.
I have often thought of daily tasks as "pulling up baobabs" from The Little Prince.
"It is a question," the little prince said to me later on. "When you've finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth. It is very tedious work," the little prince added, "but very easy."
Guess what! After 55 degrees yesterday, it was 32 degrees today and snow is predicted for tonight and tomorrow. That's okay with me. I have some things to do inside, too. Baobabs everywhere.
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