From the Steering Committee:
It’s May, just. Still have not replaced the keyboard on this laptop. J U Z 5 8 are all reluctant participants in the four-fingered slow frenzy that passes for typing hereabouts. Rained most of last week, rained yesterday some, looks like it’s gonna do some more of that this week. Bring out your buckets, keep those boots at the ready, maybe hang a towel near the back door. Or none of the above. Walking in the woods near my house a couple of days ago, got caught in a shower. Kinda nice, reminded me keenly of a field trip hike in the Smokies last July and getting thoroughly soaked. It was awesome. (Well, it did not rise to the level of awesome at the time, I will admit, how easy it is to recolor memory when you’re dry.)
The past two months have been interesting. Having chunks of week where homework is the norm has allowed me to watch my garden. Really watch it, not from the driver’s side window as I’m pulling out of the garage already late for work, not as a spectator. As a participant, at garden speed. The spring flowers have settled down and the inhale is happening everywhere. The greenness is overwhelming sometimes; I look into the woods and my coffee goes cold in my hand before I catch on a linear spur of grey amidst the rounded jumble. Something fast flies through the gaps. So many conversations happening at once! Small shoots around pawpaw and bladdernut and possumhaw are becoming juvenile groves. The wax myrtles and devilwoods have a fresh coat. Redbuds are fruiting. Tickseed and coneflower and black-eyed Susie are settling in for a long warm show. Think I saw a king snake last week, hard to say, it was fast and not all interested in a photo shoot. March ephemera has made way for May. And soon enough our carefully mature spring will inform summer’s eager youth. Can’t frickin’ wait.
As July transitions from a long-time-from-now sort of thing to a hey-that’s-just-around-the-corner sort of another thing, it’s becoming difficult to face up to the great big hole in the summer calendar. The bright red label in my appointment book followed by a string of arrows has been inked out, as have so many labels. Cancellations abound, some merely postponed until the “next normal” sets in and we can all be around each other again without anxiety (or worse), and others fully excised. Alas.
The bright notes are there, stitching this sometimes cacophonous din into something approaching music. Maybe this song can be our glue. Even though we are physically apart, we are nonetheless connected. We all have a tin can somewhere, a myriad of strings poking out one end, extending out where we will. Pluck one and someone or something somewhere will sing in return. But I do digress.
Plants, plants, it’s all about the plants! Can’t hardly wait for the sourwood to bloom. That one tree has been a little reminder to me to get ready to head to the mountains. It’s been a treat to see the sourwoods bloom twice each year; first here in the Piedmont of NC, then a second time a few weeks later up the road a piece. One of the first trees I learned as it is usually the most reliably unstraight tree in the forest. Regarding their flowers, this lovely quote from A Natural History of Trees by Donald Culross Peattie, 1948: “In case you have not looked up and seen them, you may soon be made aware of them by the roar of bees gone nectar-mad at their lips.”
So until we may all go nectar-mad together again, I sign off with well wishes and hopes for happiness. Don’t forget to keep those strings taut.