We Haste Away So Soon

daffodil152

 

olddaffodil4
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray’d together, we
Will go with you along.
 
We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Away,
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,
Ne’er to be found again.
~Robert Herrick “To Daffodils”
wwudaff15
olddaffodil1
So short a spring:
today some parts of this land are in the throes of winter with blizzards, ice storms and snow drifts keeping them home-bound on the Sabbath.  There is little hope for the brave bulbs that tried to surface from the ground over the last several weeks.
Here in the northwest, we are springing late as well, with chill winds and unending rain. The daffodils have melted on the stem unable to sustain the battering while hordes of slugs luxuriate with unending voracious appetites for their petals.
We ourselves aren’t much different than these tender blooms – though we hope not to be chewed to death, we are, after all,  here today, gone tomorrow.  When bud bursts to blossom, we flame hearty with such exuberant joy, then wither until we are no more.
We are, for our brief days, a reflection of the Sun itself, just as we should be.
daffrain3
olddaffodil3

A Slug Solace

sluggy

“Girls are like slugs—they probably serve some purpose, but it’s hard to imagine what.”
Bill Watterson, in Calvin and Hobbes

slugdandy

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Slugs appear out of the ground after a drizzle like seeds that plump and germinate miraculously overnight. The slug crop burgeons, and with it, oozy trails of glistening slug slime.

We live on a hill, which means I need to walk downhill to the barn for chores.  On one particular day, the path can include a slug (or three) under each foot. That produces a certain memorable squish factor.

I’ve learned to don my rubber boots and just squash and slide. There will undoubtedly be more slugs to replace the flattened lost, like watching freeze-dried shrinky dinks spontaneously rehydrate.

The trip to the barn for chores becomes a hazardous journey, slipping and sliding on hordes of slugs that have surfaced everywhere like pimples on a teenager’s back. They crawl out from under every leaf and every stray piece of wood to bask in the morning dew, replenishing the moisture lost over weeks of hot sun. Somehow I always suspected there was a secret world of organisms out there, oozing and creeping in the dark of the night, but preferred not to think about them if I didn’t have to. But they would confront me regularly to remind me of their existence and my own.

At dawn, the cat food bowl sometimes contained clues that parties were being thrown at midnight by the back porch, with glistening slime trails in and out of the bowl and in concentric circles all around. When I would grab a handful of green beans in the garden, some of them would be slippery with slug slime and neat little chunks would be missing. The tidiest stealth invasion was a tomato that looked invitingly red and plump from one side, but when picked, was completely cored, hanging in a dangling half shell from the vine with mucus strands still dripping. There was some serious eating going on right under our noses.

Actually the chewing is under the slug noses, all four noses to be precise. With that much sensory input, no wonder a slug knows about the transparent apple peelings lying on the bottom of my tall compost bucket outside the back door. I think they traveled for miles to find this particular stash, climbing up the bucket sides and slithering down into glorious apple orgy. The party lasted until morning when I discovered them still congregating and clinging, gorged and immobile in their satiety on the sides and bottom of the bucket. I had unwittingly provided the means of their intoxication, having now become an accessory to minors in possession.

slugs4

In my more tolerant older middle years, I now appreciate slugs for what they are. No longer do I run for the salt shaker as I did in my younger, more ruthless days. Instead I find it strangely reassuring that a land locked amorphous invertebrate can survive weeks of summer heat, weeks of no rain and still thrive to replenish its kind. If something so homely and seemingly inconsequential to the world can make it in spite of conditions that conspire to dry it to dust, then maybe I have a chance as well. I too may not be presentable at times, and sometimes leave behind evidence of where I’ve been and the havoc I’ve created. But then someone puts out a sweet meal for me to feast on, allowing me a celebration of life, and spares me when what I deserve is the salt shaker.

It is solace indeed: if the slugs are loved, than so am I.

slugfest

slugcanoodle

 

Finding the Sacred in Anything

slugcanoodle

 

…anything can be written about. Not because nothing is sacred, but because everything is.
~Billy Coffey

Too much on the internet is “anything goes” because nothing is considered too sacred to be dissected, illustrated, exploited and promoted in as public a way as possible.   Most of it is so cringe-worthy that it feels very risky to click on any unfamiliar link as it may take the viewer into such a dark corner of the web that it feels impossible to escape.  Once an image is seen, it is difficult to erase from the mind’s eye, even this picture of slugs “canoodling” (sorry, but I’ve tried to figure out for over a year how to use this photo on my blog).

My little corner of the web is meant to be a path into the light, instead of a portal into the dark.

Over the years I’ve written about many things that are personal, whether it is mistakes I’ve made, overblown worries, my childhood family’s struggles, my parents’ dissolving marriage, my obsession with garden gnomes, health care controversies, forgiveness, and surprisingly, the page that for years gathered the most visits on my blog: my horse’s bodily functions.

Even horse poop can be seen as sacred…I guess.  At least someone must think so.

Still, some things remain too sacred to be written down, and because I hold them close in my heart, they will stay that way.

 

januarygnomie

 

Sliding on Slug Slime

“Girls are like slugs—they probably serve some purpose, but it’s hard to imagine what.”
Bill Watterson, in Calvin and Hobbes

how many slugs can you count in this picture?

Summer rain, so desperately needed In much of our country, has been a frequent visitor to the Pacific Northwest. While corn is dying of thirst in the Midwest, we are overflowing with…slug slime and the lovely multicolored creatures that produce it. They appear out of the ground after a rain like seeds that plump and germinate miraculously overnight. The slug crop burgeons, and with it, oozy trails of glistening slug slime.

We live on a hill, which means I need to walk downhill to the barn. On one particular day, the path included a slug (or three) under each foot. That produces a certain memorable squish factor.

I’ve learned to don my rubber boots and just squash and slide. There will undoubtedly be more slugs to replace the flattened lost, like watching freeze-dried shrinky dinks spontaneously rehydrate.

I’d love to send the rain to those who need it most, but part of the deal includes the slugs must go too. With gallons of slime.

Of course, I’d miss them and their sticky icky gooiness. But it is time for someone else to figure out what their purpose is.

I’ve given up.

like two slugs passing in the night…

The Solace of Slugs

slugs4

After a long dry spell, with the lawn dried to a light brown crisp and the garden crying for water, it rained last night.  It continues to rain today, each droplet slurped up into the ground without hesitation.  The world was very thirsty, which is a rare event here in the Pacific Northwest where waterlogged is the typical chronic malady.

Heading out to the barn for chores was a hazardous journey,  slipping and sliding on hordes of slugs that had surfaced everywhere like pimples on a teenager’s back, seemingly overnight. They crawled out from under every leaf and every stray piece of wood to bask in the rain, replenishing the moisture lost over weeks of hot sun.  Somehow I always suspected there was a secret world of organisms out there, oozing and creeping in the dark of the night, but preferred not to think about them if I didn’t have to.  But they would confront me regularly to remind me of their existence.  At dawn, the cat food bowl sometimes contained clues that parties were being thrown at midnight by the back porch, with glistening slime trails in and out of the bowl and in concentric circles all around.  When I would grab a handful of green beans in the garden, some of them would be slippery with slug slime and neat little chunks would be missing.  The tidiest stealth invasion was a tomato that looked invitingly red and plump from one side, but when picked, was completely cored, hanging in a dangling half shell from the vine with mucus strands still dripping.  There was some serious eating going on right under our noses.

Actually the chewing is under the slug noses, all four noses to be precise.  With that much sensory input, no wonder a slug knows about the transparent apple peelings lying on the bottom of my tall compost bucket outside the back door.  I think they traveled for miles to find this particular stash, climbing up the bucket sides and slithering down into glorious apple orgy.  The party lasted until morning when I discovered them still congregating and clinging, gorged and immobile in their satiety on the sides and bottom of the bucket.  I had unwittingly provided the means of their intoxication, having now become an accessory to minors in possession.

In my middle years, I now appreciate slugs for what they are.  No longer do I run for the salt shaker as I did in my younger, more ruthless days.  Instead I find it strangely reassuring that a land locked amorphous invertebrate can survive days of 100+ degree heat, weeks of no rain and still thrive to replenish its kind.  If something so homely and seemingly inconsequential to the world can make it in spite of conditions that conspire to dry it to dust, then maybe I have a chance as well.   I too may not be presentable at times,  and sometimes leave behind evidence of where I’ve been and the havoc I’ve created.  But then someone puts out a sweet meal for me to feast on, allowing me a celebration of life, and spares me when what I deserve is the salt shaker.

It is solace indeed:  if the slugs are loved, than so am I.