So, here we are in the deepest heart of spring and I cannot keep myself inside (except for work.) I almost have to tie myself to my library to write and then I keep going to the back porch to have a peek to see if anything new has grown within the last hour. With the spring rains this year, the gardens are lush. The herbs are striking with their colors and scents; the basils, feverfew, lavender, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, chives...and so many others
The ever-winding perennial beds are in color with Lady's Mantle, peonies, irises, and lilacs with a few left over snowdrops.
For the garden, I have painted an old table lavender and decorated the edges with poetry from great poets; Dickinson, Poe, Frost, Thoreau, Longfellow, Riley....It is almost ready to put into the garden with lime green chairs. The perfect place for early morning coffee and the paper, or a late night candlelight supper with friends and family.
So, I work a little, tend the garden a little, make tea for friends as they walk by and then do it again the next day! (OK, I am leaving out the part of finishing up school, paying bills, filling our forms, and gathering work for next year!)
As for now...the garden calls, the coffee brews and the day begins.
With the end of my teaching career (well, at least that of Hamilton Elementary School), my bookshelves are stacked with books of all sorts. Today the process of picking and choosing those books began; those that come home with me or go to the kids. The process is difficult. I love my books, all books.
The fifth grade class and I labeled boxes with teams working at each box station; Civil War, Revolutionary War, Science, Planets, Indiana History, Poetry, Children's books, novels...well you get my picture. I took book after book off the shelf, one at a time.
I know when and where I received each and every book. I know what town, state or even country where it was purchased or given as a gift. I have autographed books by Bill Martin, Jr., Steven Kellogg, Valiska Gregory, Robert Newton Peck, Syd Hoff...
I can smell each book and know how long I have had the book, when and where I read it last. I also began to panic thinking of all the books and stories and poems that I have not yet shared.
I used to think that as well as my kids were growing up. Where will I tell these stories, poems...who will be my audience? For years it has been my school kids, now it will become my traveling audience, college classrooms and even my blog site.
This I do know. Most of the books went into my storage boxes. I could not part with them. They are friends, old and new, and we go out together.
It was a small town day yesterday. I was planning on biking around, but rumbling thunder and the promise of rain took me back to the old Jeep.
At the baseball field, I watched nine year old Matthew catch his first fly ball. My heart stopped as the ball bounced, but landed in his mitt. It was as exciting as if we were watching the world series.
In the meantime, the younger kids, Jonah and his buddies, collected rocks and sticks and set up a store on the top row of the bleachers. They began selling these treasures. It was a great activity for six year olds; settling up a store, valuing each piece, collecting money and giving change. I was their best customer coming home with four twigs and and a large rotten log.
It made me think of Roxaboxin, a children's story by Barbara Cooney. Jonah, of course, knows the story. I asked all the little boys if they knew the story, and they did not. Do I dare take a story book to the next game? Will they sit in the grass and listen to me read this wonderful story?? Ah, it is worth a try.
The day continued with stories at the Praisathon, a special event at the new Furth Theatre, martinis at the Hatchery with friends and then the Moveable Feast film series.
We watched The Architect in the Wells Theatre at Trine. It was directed by Nathaniel Kahn in search of his father, Louis Kahn. I had heard the name but did not know the story of the man and the magnitude of his work. It was a wonderful film, thought provoking and given to conversation. Following this film, we had wine and a late night salon supper. No one smoked, of course, but had we added the blue wisps of smoke, I think I could have been carried into another time of Kahn and Hemingway and Wright.
I had to think about my lack of knowledge of Kahn and the little boys at the field's lack of knowledge about Barbara Cooney. How can we know it all...how can we know all that we don't know exists?
The rain was pelting down as we left. When I arrived home (the three blocks) my twinkle lights glistened in the rain and welcomed me home.
The rain started in the early morning hours and by morning the garden was watered and cooled off from the previous heat. Ahh, sweatshirt morning once again. I took this photo as the birds were taking a break from their bath and there was a lull in the rain.
In my small town there are activities from morning til night. My purple bike is ready to make the rounds and my stories are tucked into my back pocket for the work I need to do today. Stories from a small town are the flavor of the day!
My two favorite guys, Matthew and Jonah, and I took a walk through the woods at Pokagon. We were joined by Fred Wooley, the naturalist at Pokagon State Park. He took us over to the area where the bluebells are blooming. There were patches and patches of bluebells.
I could almost see and hear fairies dancing in the middle of the day. I can only wander what it is like when the pale Moon slides overhead at Midnight.
The boys and I took photos, made lists of birds, and just enjoyed spring enjoying each other's company.
It is not often one gets to set foot on fairy ground. Shhh......
I found this lovely old poem in a book given to me by Adam years ago. Inside the cover of the book is inscribed: To Mommy, From Adam, Christmas 1987.
I have loved this book, Stillmeadow Daybook by Gladys Taber all these years. This afternoon through slight sprinkles of dawdling spring, I pulled this book off the shelf. Ahh, sweet spring, taking your time, but patience is a virtue for you and for me.
"All things are written in the mind.
There the sure hills have station;
And the wind blows in that placeless air.
And there the white and golden birds go flying;
And the stars wheel and shine; and the woods are fair."
The photos were taken in my garden as the winter winds are finally giving way to the wedding march of spring.