The face of abundance looks something like this: 8 pounds of organic cherries, perfectly ripe, juicy, and sweet. Whatever the truth of our prosperity, when the box of fruit arrives from the CSA, we feel rich.
The peonies are woven into my earliest memories. Before words, embedded in the cells of my childhood there is abundant beauty and intoxicating perfume and, of course, it’s all crawling with ants. The peonies in my mind’s eye sprawl luxuriously under trees in the backyard and around the houses of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They wrap me up in bittersweetness and leave too soon, their scent lingering on the summer breeze.
Possibly my favorite plant in the whole garden for the way the leaves light up the shadows with an unreal chartreuse glow. The flowers, too, are pure poetry: handing delicately off their arcing stems, they lift their fine pink petticoats in sort of curtsy. It’s enough to break your heart.
Yesterday, the kids and I were invited to a bird show. It’s a constant fluttering rainbow of scarlet, orange, yellow, and brilliant blue and it happening in my parents’ backyard. I don’t have a long enough lens for wildlife but I figure this one is all about the color and, that, I could capture.
One of the things I like to do is look up common names of flowers. The early spring prairie blooms I’ve always called pasque flowers have many more poetic and evocative names: wind flower, prairie crocus, meadow anemone. What’s in a name? Maybe. But I think I’ll call these beauties wind flowers from now on.