garden

The world these days

Amid the real suffering, and the insidious politics, the nervous fear some have of not knowing the end day, there is the ordinary day to day life of someone like me who still believes this is a situation that will only get worse, who is enraged by the racism arising from naming the virus as particular to an Asian country, but who is also, so far, darn lucky.

My problems are minor. If you live in a remote area, tend to be a loner, keep company with your work, books, cats, then social-distancing should not be a problem.  Yet all the things that make a life pleasant –the runs to a cafe for coffee and companionship, the excitement of the transformation of a sleepy town to full-blown cultural candy store as the season comes round again, the pottering about in garden centers to see what is available, and how things are growing, the daydreaming that lets the imagination take flight via airline websites and possible flights, the concerts and plays one had planned ahead with tickets already bought, the room for spontaneity in a movie run, a dinner with friends–all of that is now in the past.  

So I’ve been writing, teasing a plot of nonsense, and I’ve been reading.  Book after book I download onto my iPad, overcoming my distate of electronic reading, my appetite limitless.  I am saving Hilary Mantel’s latest, waiting until I reach a point of exasperation, so I can remember, but wait, there’s still Cromwell’s end to come. I watch Jane Austen adaptations, akin to a comparative study, and Gardener’s World, both providing ample comfort.  

And yes, I wonder if a stray cough is more than what it is, a stray cough brought on by dry inside air. And yes, I am on social media far more than necessary. And yes, I woke at four am for no reason. But right now, as I type these words, a Bach cello concerto is being played by Yo Yo Ma over the airwaves.  Read that sentence again. Is that not itself is a miracle?

The Flowers of Late September

Like Living in the Treetops

From my balcony, two floors up, I can see the tops of the spring flowery trees, all white and cloud-like.  Some have bright green leaves and others are reddish bronze.  I want to reach out and snap a few of these candy tufts to place in a vase at my desk as I write.  Why?  Because they are so abundant and joyeous, and oh so temporary.  I can’t reach out and grab them, for they are out of reach, and these trees are much further away than my eye believes.  

The checkered fritillaria are blooming, and the snow drops are tiny, smaller than previous years where the blooms were heavy like hanging jewels.  A scattering of muscarii, peeps of stray tulips. I rescued a rununculus from Shop Rite–wouldn’t you?  Potting it up in recyled soil, I uncovered two intact dahlia bulbs from last summer.  All in all, the garden is waking up, stretching.  And this morning, a thoughtful neighbor anonymously left a tulip on everyone’s car.  Mine is a pale pink, happily resting in a milk bottle filling up with the afternoon rain. 

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