Gratitude makes me blush, but somehow that's okay. I would rather blush with gratitude than turn sour green with greed, wouldn't you? There is so much abundance at this time of year, so much to be grateful for and no reason, none whatsoever, for greed. There is plenty of beauty spilling from every crack, every crevice, every tree, every bush -- enough to go around, plenty for all.
At this time of year, everything blooms -- trees, bushes, flowers suddenly spiking from buried bulbs -- but the most exquisite beauty, I think, is when the tallest trees glow pale pink, not because they are sporting pink blossoms as are the more exuberant flowering plums planted streetside but because their leaf buds are blushing red, ready to burst into a halo of green. They blush with gratitude, grateful for the return of light, the coming heat of summer.
There's no escaping that fact that the delicacy and the enthusiasm of this time of year leaves us all feeling hopeful and grateful. I walk, glad for the sun, the soft hoo-hoo's of the mourning doves, the sudden cries of sea birds. I'm happy to be here on the coast amidst all this green where March comes ashore without roaring (or baa-ing, for that matter) but arrives instead regally seated in a sun carriage, all decked out in the most glorious flowers, perfumed with only the most gentle of winds, waving as gracefully as any Eastern May or northern June, bowing genteelly at the drying winter still hanging on in drab dreary garbage strewn lots.
With every bow, another flower pops, but it's the ones that spring unbidden I love the most. If the crowning glory of the barren lot, Oxalis, was blooming wildly a week ago, it has now taken wildness to another level, reshaping even the most desperate landscapes of cracked concrete into spectacular rock gardens, alive with the brilliance of sun settled down to earth. I am glad for that.
I know some folk who think of Oxalis as a most decidedly awful weed, yanking it without ceremony from garden edges and tossing it out with the trash, but I find it as beautiful as Wordsworth's daffodils. Like those daffodils blooming madly far from any homestead on a wild stream bank, oxalis, too, needs no tending, but it is even more resilient. It grows where little else will grow, sprouting next to street drains clogged with rotting trash, pushing its way through rusting fences, and happily blooming on bare patches of ground overwhelmed by plastic bits and broken glass.
Oxalis, for me, is the beating heart of spring. When it goes, summer begins creeping in.
Melting to Stars
In the desert, flowers melt before sunset
and rise after midnight as stars. It happens.
And it’s beautiful. That’s what she said --
holding her hand across the moon, fingers
stretched wide so stars might travel through.
All beautiful things should have a name,
but there is no name for that melting,
the reappearance, or the space between.
Resurrection is absurd and adjectives --
silver, high, bright – simply won’t do.
We can say Peony or Poppy and taste beauty,
but names for time’s transparency, the pause
before sleep, the instant the perfume of sun
on skin wakes us, the sudden surprise of sea
pushed into lava cliffs – those names do not exist.
At least not as words in any earthly language.
But I’m sure such beauties have names, vivid,
unspoken and unpronounceable, music
in a minor key, etched blue on meteorites
planted as ghost meadows in scarred valleys.
The thin breathing of evaporated deserts.