Red Baron Peach blossoms, February 28, 2019
Here. Now. This.
I want to notice.
I want to pay attention
to beauty that won’t wait
to music that may fade
to chances to be kind
We planted several fruit trees, including a small Red Baron peach tree in our back yard in 2017. That winter, one unusual hard freeze produced a couple of 19 degree nights so several of the trees did not survive. The little peach tree produced a few leaves in the Spring and stayed with us. Last winter brought more cold than is typical for us. The tree looked like a 3 feet tall stick. When the roses nearby were blooming in January and February, we often noticed the sad little stick. Then, proving survivorship, it began to bud. The buds swelled to these brilliant blossoms. Four days later, Winter came back with a vengeance. Even though we covered it with a pillowcase, our tiny tree is now a stick again. But the story is not over…
my outstretched hand stops
plan to cut the last Vitex bloom
changed by looped poison ivy
I will “let it be.”
summer heat withers most flowers
defiant, these Old Maids stand proudly
strong of stalk and bold of color
still telling the stories of my childhood
urging me to stay strong and bloom
Golden spiral warms to rising sun,
follows as day unfolds,
offering gladness in its turning
garden beauty is not always found in flower beds
among our vegetables nestle shining yellow jewels
scalloped, frilled, filled with goodness
making us laugh because they are named Pattypans
Among the most unusual of our garden produce, pattypans squash are beautiful and delightful to gather. The name “pattypan” derives from “a pan for baking a patty”. Its French name, pâtisson, derives from a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mould. I love knowing that my grandchildren help to grow and pick foods for our table. When we sit down for a meal, Nora sings the table blessing she learned at school called the Johnny Appleseed prayer.
Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord
for giving me the things I need – the sun and the rain and the appleseed
The Lord is good to me. Amen!
scarlet nasturtiums nestle in green beds
saffron sunflowers lift faces to sunlight
indigo spires of salvia wave
all singing the song of summer
There are countless things that bring my observance of Lent and the daily changes in our garden into side by side meaning for me – changing my heart in the simple practice of being open to wonder. We planted this small Red Baron peach tree less than a year ago. Flooding in our back yard from a hurricane and unusually long hours of severe freezing temperatures during wintertime appeared to defeat the young fruit tree. It stood, a forlorn stick we thought had not pulled through the trials it faced with roots so newly sunk into our soil. Then came a day when leaf buds tentatively swelled and one small blossom appeared as if dropped onto a twig of a branch, followed by 3 more. I see that small wonder every time I look out the windows near my desk. This morning I read excerpts from a book by Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest.. Good words that settled and helped me. The tiny peach tree tells the story too.
“Lent reminds us…conversion is a lifelong process…We never stop starting over.
I fall down. I get up.
Keep marching to the end. Don’t shed your equipment. Keep starting over..”
And when the country priest (who had started over many times in his life) lay dying, he said, “Does it matter? Grace is everywhere.’
Nora released a carton of ladybugs in our vegetable garden. They scattered. Nora laughed. Help came in the form of one small girl and many small insects! I am grateful every day that help can come in small ways.
tender buds swell
growing greener, bolder
hint of apricot sweetness
green leaves welcome sunshine
fuchsia buds unfurl to tender pink petals
apple tree sings