Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Though the pages are yellowed and the cover time-worn, my copy of The Best Loved Poems of the American People is a favorite possession. My grandmother wrote her name in this book many, many years ago. In a few places within the pages, she has jotted a scripture reference near a poem that resonated with her. My mother owned a copy as well, and all the poems within are familiar to me, like childhood friends. There are story poems, such as Paul Revere's Ride and Casey at the Bat, or Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. And a favorite, which I may share here one day, called A Cry from the Canadian Hills.
I took the book to the garden to read this evening, and when I got up to look at the lipstick pink lilies at the other edge of the garden, Arwen made herself comfortable in my chair! Before I got up, I found the following poem which is short, straight-forward, and as meaningful today as it was when written in the 1800s.
Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words - but pouring them
All right out - just as they are -
Chaff and grain together -
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them -
Keep what is worth keeping -
And with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.
by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
photos by Aisling, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
photos by Aisling, June 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
to breathe the air in tomorrow’s city
‘neath the shadow of yesterday’s skies,
to speak in words the ancients spoke,
and to see through Dragon’s eyes.
She has flown half-a-world away…
to taste the sweet and unfamiliar,
to feel the rain from other skies,
to live each day before I wake,
and to dream through Dragon’s eyes.
Will they know, when they see her -
pale white skin and hazel eyes -
that her heart is like the Dragon;
bold and joyful when she flies?
She has flown half-a-world away
but she’ll come back one summer day,
and will I find my child still child-like,
or will everything about her say
that, though she’s home, her swift-winged soul
is poised for flight and worlds-away?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The kids and I went to a local nursery to see if the "bargain bin" had been set up for the year yet. It had not, but there were vegetable plants available at a reduced price. We selected mostly herbs and a pepper plant that already had baby banana peppers appearing and then headed home. I called the nursery to let them know that the garden bench in the pavillion by the shrubs and trees no longer had a price (as evidenced by the yellow tag in Tanka's hand) and that the lovely bronze fennel was infested with aphids (which they might want to tend to before selling any more plants.) While I was on the phone, the power went out, and the line went dead.
I plugged in the "emergency phone" which does not require electricity to call the nursery back, so that I could finish my sentence. Then, I called the power company to report the outage. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon. They estimated that the power would be back up and running by 9 o'clock at night. I was happy to go into "power out" mode, which for me means reading out loud as a family. Unfortunately, my "sales pitch" for Wind in the Willows did not capture the boy's attention. I was astonished and launched into the first chapter with great enthusiasm (it is a read-aloud favorite of mine) but still, they would not listen. Sighing, I went off to read a book on my own.
I finally talked some family members into a read-aloud, but had to select a book that would appeal to all. I read the first chapter of My Brother, My Sister, and I, by Yoko Kawashima, an autobiographical account set in post World War II Japan. As we concluded the chapter, several household items blipped and chirped, the electronic announcement that power had been restored forty-five minutes ahead of "schedule."
Through this all, the wind blew wildly, but the rain never came. Late in the evening, with sand and dust from the road blowing in my eyes, I watered my recently planted blueberry bushes. I slept soundly all night, never waking, which is unusual for me. When I woke before 6 A.M., I saw a world washed clean of dust and grime, through droplets trickling down the window glass. The much needed rain had fallen heavily as we slept and today the sun is shining on wet green fields, 20 degrees cooler than they were yesterday, and replenished by the nourishing rain.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
A wisp of silk stitched to the sky.
Urging me to find them hiding
~ Aisling, April 11, 2003
photo by Aisling, June 12, 2006
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
When I was a young girl my favorite play place was under the arching canes of an old-fashioned rose shrub. When the rose was blooming, my little hide-away smelled like heaven on earth. My brother's forts were pine-scented or mulberry stained, and we all liked to press down the tall field grass into little "rooms." Lavender, lily of the valley, yellow and purple iris, and roses are all tied to the memory of a certain place or a certain someone from my past, and just one whiff of the fragrance carries me back in time.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
50 wild creatures:
51) painted turtles 52) snapping turtles 53) ring-neck pheasant 54) red fox 55) coyote 56) Bald Eagle 57) kestrel 58) hawk 59) robin 60) Eastern blue bird 61) blue heron 62) sandhill crane 63) mallards 64) frogs 65) toads 66) dragonflies 67) damselflies 68) monarch butterflies 69) yellow swallowtails 70) blue swallowtails 71) Pandoras Sphinx Moth 72) seagull 73) killdeer 74) meadowlark 75) quail 76) whitetail deer 77) opossum 78) rabbit 79) praying mantis 80) walking stick 81) lady bug 82) mosquito 83) goldenrod and other spiders 84) flies 85) honeybees 86) yellow jackets 87) wasps 88) bumblebees 89) ruby-throated hummingbird 90) red spider mites 91) ants 92) garter snakes 93) moles 94) mice 95)cardinal 96)bob-o-link 97)grouse 98)bats 99) wild geese 100) fireflies
Also, really quickly, my little nod to Poetry Thursday. Just a few lines I wrote several years ago, about June (that includes two of the plants species in my wild edges list!)
Courtship in the meadow has begun;
blue-eyed grass winks at the sky,
and buttercups flirt with the sun.
poetry by Aisling
photos by Aisling 1) Blue-eyed grass, 5/19/2007 2) buttercups 6/3/2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Ever since learning of that concept, I see "spirit beads" in other aspects of life. For example, the blue flax that piggybacked on a daylily I transplanted to my purple, rose and crimson front garden does not belong. It is the only blue in the garden. Though lovely, and one of my favorite flowers, it is too light and too bright for this particular garden. Nevertheless, so far I have left it there. The blue flax is the spirit bead in the front garden, reminding me that I am not the only gardener on this little parcel of land. There are birds, and wind, and entangled roots that have a hand in the design of my garden. I know it is only the first of many surprises in that garden, and I like it, though it mars my dark romantic color scheme.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
This peony cultivar is Scarlett O'Hara. I purchased her, a bit too early last year, before our frost free date and planted her in the butterfly garden where she did not thrive. At the end of the growing season, I moved this plant and my other peonies up to the new front garden where there is more sun. Over the years, the Chinese Elm in the butterfly garden has grown larger and leafier transforming that little corner of the yard, along the creek bank, from a mostly sunny garden into a garden with zones of sun and shade. Eventually all the plants that need lots of sunshine will have to be relocated. Here are a couple more photos from the front garden, taken this afternoon before the storm clouds began to roll in:
photos by Aisling, June 2, 2007 1) Scarlette O'Hara Peony; 2) Dark Rose Pansy; 3) Weigela, cultivar unknown