April 16, 2010

April 16, a bittersweet day

6:30 a.m.: I've had the TV on softly in the background for about a half an hour now as I've been checking up on Facebook friends and the Lucky Press LLC FAN page. (If you are not a fan of Lucky Press LLC, please consider joining. We have great books, wonderful authors, and are trying to compete against the "big guys" in publishing...)

ANYway... not one word on CNN yet about this being the third anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. Through my work I've gotten to know more about this event than I normally would, but even those with no connection whatsoever felt the shock and heartbreak and outrage of the murders that day. My heart is with the families of those who died in such an unfair, violent, public manner. Public tragedy seems to bring with it particular comforts and unique cruelty. Let's add to the comfort side of the scales in whatever way seems appropriate to us on this day.

So, as my mind is a bit sad, I am also happy with what is happening outside of our house. SPRING! Trees are blossoming, voilets are popping up, the green, soft, lush grass has returned, the magnolia tree is blooming.

The lilacs smell fantastic--when I step outside all the scents and color of the season run up to greet me as if to say "Hello! Did you miss us?!"

There are trees in our yard that I've yet to identify (I'm an artist, not a botanist...how I appreciate those who can ID trees, flowers and bird calls!) but one in particular seems like it might be a honeysuckle tree. The white clusters of flowers smell like honeysuckle!

And the tender violets have come forth out of the hard clay soil over a rocky cliff on which our property sits. How strong they are to make their way after the frigid Add Imagewinter we had, through the hard soil, to face the perils of our three dogs not to mention hungry deer. The potential of these pretty flowers was there all winter long. There when the ice froze on the big trees in the forest behind our house, their limbs cracking, moaning, and falling with a crashing sigh onto the snow and dead leaves and arrowheads I imagine are buried there. There's a lesson in this somewhere...

I am excited about my Appalachian foothills garden. The tilling of the soil takes place next week. The sprouts I started in my garage are REALLY tall, the thermometer read 78 degrees on our porch yesterday and I'm getting bored with crocheting sweaters--all I want to do is get my hands dirty!

Tyler (our Pekingese) and I made our way down the big hill and into the edge of the woods yesterday. This is a nice time for it as green ground cover is all over the place, covering up the dead leaves, yet the trees are still bare enough that I can see pretty far into the woods. Tyler loves it! I am always surprised at how many fallen trees there are (I feel like I should "do" something with them, but -- another lesson -- Mother Nature already has a way to incorporate tree trunks into her grand plan). Tyler becomes a jumping, running, smiling, rabbit-like creature and this, during our walks, is when he finds his inner dog. I took him to Philadelphia with me one time. Put him on a leash and walked him down a busy sidewalk. He hated it. Take him into the woods, off leash, doggie whistle in my hand, and he is in absolute heaven. His heaven will include all the smells of the forest, I'm sure.

As Spring comes to your neck of the woods, take time to leave the computer, leave the couch, turn off the TV, put down that book and go outside. Look, breathe in, take some photos, let your eyes wander...find something new and wonderful. Be filled with the renewing spirit embedded in our beautiful earth.