Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring (Richard Shindell)

From Today's Writer's Almanac:

Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The Earth is tilted on its axis, so as it travels around the Sun each pole is sometimes tilted towards the Sun and sometimes tilted away. It is this tilt that causes the seasons, as well as the shortening and lengthening of daylight hours. On this day, the north and south poles are equally distant from the sun, so we will have almost exactly the same amount of daytime as nighttime.

I love living in South Florida (we moved here 16 years ago this month) but the seasons are not easily discernible - when we lived in Atlanta, the four quadrants of the annual calendar exhibited visible lines of demarcation: fall's crunchy leaves, winter's frosted lawns, spring's bursting dogwoods and summer's oppressive humidity.

It's basically always warm, green and flowering in my part of the state (not that there's anything wrong with that!) - in fact, I, who have had a black thumb for most of my life, now appreciate being able to make almost any plant flourish under my oftentimes neglectful care. We have a yard full of various hibiscus, bougainvillea, bromeliads, crotons, an assortment of palms, ixora, liriope, thumbergia, and so many others - suffice it to say if it's vegetation, it grows with little or no help. I even have a gardenia bush on the side of the house that blooms for only a month (mid-April to mid-May), although it whacked out this year, started producing blossoms in January and it hasn't stopped yet - what a treat!

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and reawakening and I seem to be going through a bit of that myself... trying to find my way back from scramble mode to equilibrium, starting with cutting back my working-outside-the-home hours (soon, I hope) and downsizing my volunteer/committee work - it's continued with reclaiming my home office/guest bedroom (after Sarah's departure) and an ongoing effort to purge/consolidate/streamline. I appear to be breathing more and stressing less - I can already envision more reading for pleasure and walking for health... :-)

I have a calligraphic print on my dining room wall entitled Chaos: Where Great Dreams Begin - the text reads: "Before a great vision can become reality there may be difficulty. Before a person begins a great endeavor, they may encounter chaos. As a new plant breaks the ground with difficulty, foreshadowing the huge tree, so must we sometimes push against difficulty in bringing forth our dreams."

Here's/cheers to embracing change in order to achieve vision - puuuuuuuuuusssssssshhhhhhhhhhh!

SONG: Spring by Richard Shindell

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

POEM: Starting With Little Things by William Stafford

Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands --

Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow.
Fields are to touch;
each day nuzzle your way.

Tomorrow the world.

QUOTE: In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." ~ Margaret Atwood


  1. One of my favorite people ever has the Chaos print in her home and the symbol tattooed on her ankle.

    I feel like she's blogged about it before, but I'm not finding it right now. But you may enjoy her blog nonetheless.

  2. Hey, Amy -

    Always great to hear from you - I'm of course immersed in craziness (your last e-mail still sits in my inbox)... but I'm trying to do better!

    Thanks for sharing your friend's link - if you recommend, I'm sure I'll enjoy... <3