There is a spot on the short cut I wish you might have seen these past weeks. Everywhere the lovely lavender asters have been profuse–the Head had a bountiful supply mingled with the goldenrod. I’m sure you remember the shrub with the white berries–snowberries people call them–we found them on Barter’s Island. The spot to which I refer was a mass of the lavender asters combined with the snowberry–wild, but no landscape architect could have contrived anything lovelier.Dorothy Freeman, in a letter to Rachel Carson, October 13, 1959
Dorothy wrote to Rachel about the wild loveliness of asters, snowberries, and goldenrod in October. It’s April here, so the colorful flowers on the late-blooming asters and goldenrod I have planted are a ways off. But I too am wondering at the loveliness of flowers, those both planted in my yard and visible along the trails.
Spring flowers are giving me lots of hope these days.
Yes, I know there’s plenty to be concerned about. But I also know that at least some of the seeds I’ve finally finished planting this spring–after spending many weekend hours digging up turf lawn instead of contributing to this blog–are starting to come up. What’s coming up now are mainly the quick-growing annuals that I mixed in with the native perennials, and the native plants I bought at Tait Farm last year are all doing well too. More importantly, many more of the seeds will be up and flowering soon enough.
This knowing gives me hope for the summer. For being surrounded by flowers, birds, and butterflies in my backyard. For vases of cut flowers inside. For ending my work days a little earlier and playing in the yard with my little one before dinner.
None of the above will solve most of what concerns me. But I do believe there’s real promise for biodiversity as more people with homes and yards choose to replace parts of our turf lawns with native plants (though “native plant” advocacy has its own complications that I want to learn more about here and here and here and here and here…once summer is here, that is, and I have more time for reading).
More to my point, I have been over-committed at work for a few weeks now, tired and with too little downtime to enjoy my family or hiking. So I need the hope that arrives with spring, for the relative pressure release that is summer, and I am grateful that kind of hope comes so easily for me.
Right now, as I write this in my backyard, there is birdsong loud and all around me, even as I live in a fairly conventional, suburban-like HOA. I think of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, of how much positive impact the book had, and of how far from silent my yard is. Again, I grateful.
With less time for training over the past couple of weeks, I’ve focused on shorter hikes with my family, the kiddo back in the pack.
During yesterday’s hike, the little one even walked/ran part of the way on his own two feet, after we let him get down and play in a stream for the first time. So today I’m going to focus on spring, on hope, on the growth that is still on its way.
|M, 3/29||2.1 walking|
|T, 3/30||2.2 walking|
|W, 3/31||5 walking & hiking w/ a dear friend passing through town|
|Th, 4/1||2.2 walking|
|F, 4/2||5.3 running|
|Sa, 4/3||rest day|
|Su, 4/4||2.5 hiking w/ the family|
|M, 4/5||1.6 walking|
|T, 4/6||1.2 walking|
|W, 4/7||3 running|
|Th, 4/8||rest day|
|F, 4/9||4.1 running|
|Sa, 4/10||2 hiking w/ the family|