Green hills, embroidered mist, rich rising ridge fog filled plunging fields cattle, black, weightless rise poised from bare bank grazing the grass of heaven ~Steven Federle
May is always an overwhelming time of year – my senses work overtime with the feel of cool air mornings and evenings, the fragrance of blossoms everywhere, the dawn chorus of birdsong and the nightly coyote choir and peeper swamp symphony, the softness of mist rising from warm ground and the explosion of green – everywhere.
We are happily drowning in green – so much to be done quickly: mowed, gathered, stored, treasured.
Surely heaven too is mostly green. It can be no other.
Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. ~Oscar Wilde from The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves. ~Leonora Carrington from The Hearing Trumpet
Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world,
and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Too much of my life is lived behind a gauzy veil, hiding my face and feelings so my flaws and foibles are not so obvious to the world.
Yet God lifts my veil as a groom does his bride’s; He reminds me I’m made in His image and He wants to see me wholly to make me holy.
Just as the dawn restores with light what has dwelled in darkness, God removes our shroud of hiddenness to tell us: “You, my child, are beautiful because I made you.”
Just past dawn, the sun stands with its heavy red head in a black stanchion of trees, waiting for someone to come with his bucket for the foamy white light, and then a long day in the pasture. I too spend my days grazing, feasting on every green moment till darkness calls, and with the others I walk away into the night, swinging the little tin bell of my name. ~Ted Kooser “A Birthday Poem”
all is green~
every square inch
and every misty mythical moment.
So I feast while I can,
knowing soon the darkness descends
and I too am called
to come home,
the bells I bear
swinging and ringing.
This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying – the delicate seed globe must break up now – it gives and gives till it has nothing left. The hour of this new dying is clearly defined to the dandelion globe; it is marked by detachment. There is no sense of wrenching; it stands ready, holding up its little life, no knowing when or where or how the wind that bloweth where it listeth may carry it away. It holds itself no longer for its own keeping, only as something to be given; a breath does the rest… ~Lilias Trotter from “The Dandelion”
The farm is covered with them now; momentary perfection standing ready to break apart and fly whether jostled by human or animal, breeze or breath.
The sacrifice of one becomes a gift of millions. A breath started it all and ends it all.
How can it be when nothing is left, everything is gained?
I can see, through the rifts of the apple-boughs, The delicate blue of the sky, And the changing clouds with their marvellous tints That drift so lazily by. And strange, sweet thoughts sing through my brain, And Heaven, it seemeth near; Oh, is it not a rare, sweet time, The blossoming time of the year?
~Horatio Alger, Jr. from “Apple Blossoms”
You won’t remember it—the apple orchard We wandered through one April afternoon, Climbing the hill behind the empty farm.
A city boy, I’d never seen a grove Burst in full flower or breathed the bittersweet Perfume of blossoms mingled with the dust.
A quarter mile of trees in fragrant rows Arching above us. We walked the aisle, Alone in spring’s ephemeral cathedral. ~Dana Gioia from “The Apple Orchard”
The rain eases long enough
to allow blades of grass to stand back up
primed for the mower’s cutting swath.
Clusters of pink tinged blossoms
sway in response to my mower’s pass,
apple buds bulge on ancient branches
in promise of fruit
stroked by the honeybees’ tickling legs.
Bowing low beneath the swollen blooms,
caught by snagging branches
that shower from hidden raindrop reservoirs
held in the clasp of blushing petal cups,
my face is anointed in perfumed apple tears.
The duties and cares of the day crowd about us when we awake each day
– if they have not already dispelled our night’s rest.
How can everything be accommodated in one day? When will I do this, when that? How will it all be accomplished?
Thus agitated, we are tempted to run and rush.
And so we must take the reins in hand and remind ourselves,
“Let go of your plans. The first hour of your morning belongs to God.
Tackle the day’s work that he charges you with,
and he will give you the power to accomplish it.” ~Edith Stein from Essays on Woman
Rushing headlong pell-mell tumble-bumble into the day is a specialty of mine. Once I step out the door there isn’t a single moment of quiet breathing space until I step back in the door 12 hours later. I realize this is a daily choice I make to live this way: no one forces me to see just one more patient (or four) or complete each chart before I leave or make sure I have responded to a hundred messages.
I would not rest well until the work is finished.
Therefore my hour of quiet starts very early in the day, usually before the sun rises or the birds start to twitter, when there is no every-fifteen-minute appointment schedule and the phone remains silent.
However the rising morning does not belong to me: God knows what I’ll need to get through the day. He reminds me to breathe deeply, find time to smell the tulips, and take a walk with a buddy, always remembering I’m not alone.
I do not know what gorgeous thing the bluebird keeps saying, his voice easing out of his throat, beak, body into the pink air of the early morning. I like it whatever it is. Sometimes it seems the only thing in the world that is without dark thoughts. Sometimes it seems the only thing in the world that is without questions that can’t and probably never will be answered, the only thing that is entirely content with the pink, then clear white morning and, gratefully, says so. ~Mary Oliver “What Gorgeous Thing” from Blue Horses by Penguin Press
We are experiencing a short reprieve this week from gray and drear and rain and typical April chill temperatures. It is suddenly fantastically spring, all in a big headlong rush toward summer. Our windows are wide open, there are apple-blossom breezes wafting through the house, the bees are busy, the birds singing at the top of their lungs as soon as daylight appears at 5:15AM.
What gorgeous thing it is to see and hear and smell and taste this glory if only for a day or two. So full of promise and potential.
Even if, as predicted,
the rain returns this weekend,
even if the grey clouds come back hovering heavily on our shoulders,
even if the air no longer carries forth this incredible perfume,
it did happen
and for the moment,
just a moment,
the world felt entirely content to simply be.