A case of spring fever, where a human and herbaceous cross-species love affair blooms, while unwritten history whispers on the wind. Nothing much else happens.
At last, the season has turned and the leaves shout greenly from the trees. Rhododendrons and lilacs riot, and dandelions burst and bob in grassy places, lawns or fields indiscriminately. They do not care one way or another whether they bloom in the garden of a fine house or push their nosy selves from behind rotting logs and rubble in a neighbourhood vacant lot. They are full of yellow brashness and whiten with joy as they age.
It is Spring and I am infatuated with the grass, its bunchy fat greenness. The way the blades sharpen as they upwardly grow. I want to press myself into their sweet lushness, suck the tangy juice of them into my pores.
We are the same, the grasses and I, and the dandelions too, fed on the same stardust, burst from the same cosmic bubble. We are dancing the same molecular dance, dreaming ourselves up.
I lie on a blanket in a shady park on a sunny afternoon. I am replete with sunshine, and full up on friendship. I have a thermos of tea with me. It is hot and sweet, just the way I like it.
I have taken to carrying a thermos with me. This is old-fashioned behavior I know, with Starbuck’s ubiquitous, and every second place selling beverages – lattes, rooibos teas, craft beer. It is a case of being ready for adventure. Along with the thermos, I carry notepad and pens, a book of poetry, and my trusty Nikon camera. Also macarons, because, well, survival.
My notion of adventure is circumspect. I am after parks and lakes, and quiet private places where I can get offline, and dream. You never know when the opportunity to disappear into poetry and tea might present itself. It is best to be ready.
This day, I have lunched with a dear friend, exposed my heart, greedy for conversation. We are women of a certain age, fierce with justice and love, and full of good ideas. I have felt wronged lately, and it was good to be reminded once again to look within, to find the lessons, and to let myself be comforted. I have brought her Farmers Market goods, tulips and spinach. I know she needs comfort, too.
After lunch, I walked into the park, past the playground and bandstand, past the big field where the parasailors practice and into the deep heart of the park, where the oldest trees live and the leaves ripple and gossip overheard.
I choose a spot near the footings of the old Catholic residential school dormitory, or maybe it was the gymnasium or slaughterhouse, or milk shed. The stone is crumbling into moss, and the signs are blank. There is a history here that cannot be rewritten.
I take my shoes off and let my feet feel the cool ground, offer a blessing over the blown-out tulips that drop brown petals onto decaying foundations. I read poetry.
Robins hop into into my circle of the world, their tiny feet parting the blades of clover and crabgrass. A crow, too, visits, caws in the chestnut above, watches creamy blossoms fall as the wind carries time past us.
A heron flaps by, a prehistoric messenger, and a maple tree bends in the wind from the river. I watch an inchworm make its way across my picnic bag. Clearly in unfamiliar territory it arches its yellow-green self, fully extended, blindly reaching ... reaching ... reaching for the next foothold, curling back into itself to inch again into the unknown. It can barely navigate this simple path across the red cloth. This is not the territory it knows. It may be too simple a journey, without the sticks and leaves, and the tall structure of the grasses, its daily surmount.
A sharp-eyed robin fixes its one-sided gaze our way. Still, the inchworm strives, blind to its own confusion. A dandelion head tumbles by, dropping wishes as it blows. Recklessly fertile.
In all of nature, there is everything. This blood, this heart, it beats too in a blade of grass, and the inchworm. Because this is Mission B.C. in the Fraser Valley, a horse and rider gallop along the riverbank trail, past the old cemetery where the nuns and children are buried. The spotted rump of the horse disappears into the dark trees.
A train whistles down the afternoon. Horse and train reminding us that there are bigger hearts that boldly beat than those in blades of grass or dandelion spores, or me. Underneath the horse’s hooves, the mad grass pressed against buttercups wildly springs back to life.
Having nothing better to do, I watch the grass grow, pledging my loyalty and receiving only green silence in return. There is a dream where I let myself fall, heart-first, into that deep prickly greenness, and lie hidden, crowned in stinging nettles, while white moths wink overhead.
Instead, I hold my camera to my eye, capturing love and dandelion wishes.
Would love to hear your thoughts on spring, dandelions, getting offline, or the secret mysteries of nature. Feel free to comment.