Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring, Eliot and Nepo

We have much that is spring here in sunny southern California, gray mornings that seem protective of the plants, sleeping, before the brilliance of afternoon sun. The oak-leaf hydrangea reach ever higher in my front yard, each tiny white blossom a cup where hummingbirds hover.

Birds sing, too, and are nearly jubilant even as crows hop belligerent across the street, their caws less frantic than a month earlier.

Green isn't green but chartreuse, and marks the line between spring and summer.

April, though, is the cruelest month, as the poet wrote.

It breeds lilacs out the dead land, Mixing memory and desire.
(T.S. Eliot)

I have felt lower in April than March and certainly February, Winter kept us warm, Covering earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers.

This morning, the birds sang and the crows hopped and Sophie hummed, but I felt as if I were pulling love out of shadow. I read this:

If you can't see what you're looking for, 
see what's there.

Close your eyes and know that though you may 
not see anything, you are growing, and that something
larger than you is carrying you toward the light.

I am growing. I am being carried toward the light. I lack nothing.

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening


  1. We have the oak leaf hydrangea as well but mine is not nearly as dramatic as yours, dear. Still, it is beloved to me and I bring in the dry blossoms when they are done and put them in vases all over the house and they live forever, despite their seeming delicateness.

  2. Such a refreshing post that has uplifted my spirits, thank you for your vivid and reverent thoughts.

  3. You are so lucky to be in California, where things are blooming and living. Where I live in Canada, we woke up yesterday to find a light blanket of snow on everything, and I just wanted to cry and scream "Enough!" At least I can look at nice photos of hydrangea (one of my favourites) when kind people like you share lovely glimpses of your gardens with we unfortunate northerners! :)

  4. Yes. Seeing what is there. Yes.
    "Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold." Robert Frost.

  5. It is so difficult, sometimes, to see what is there and not judge or compare or wish for something else. You are held in love.

  6. i have that book and have gone through it at least 3 times. LOVE Mark Nepo!!! Love your line about pulling love out of shadow. Remember the part in my book where I talk about spring being the hardest season? BTW, thanks for mentioning me over there ____> : )

  7. Yes--"pulling love out of shadow" just stunned me. Isn't it strange how April can feel like the beginning and the end all at once? Still, I wish for Los Angeles. I still remember your post about the museum, the lobster roll, the San Pellegrino Limonata. A perfect combination. I don't know why I'm mentioning that. I guess I wish I was there & we could go together. I hope May comes soon for you.



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