Of bird nests and rainbows

Spring walking on a Sunday evening

Over the new mown trails

Through the raspberry canes.

The lightning and thunder have paused and

The evening sun glows through the rain spattered sky

Spring green leaves glisten and shake rain drops.

A brown bird flies up and startles us

just as our thunder feet startled her.

The hidden nest holds four speckled blue and purple eggs. Or maybe five.

Mama didn’t limp or try to distract us; she just waited until we tiptoed away.

I’m calling her a field sparrow…

On the other side of the yard bluebirds are nesting

in the rusty corn planter that decorates the tool shed.

She perches and guards five eggs.

The shed was half painted when the new renters began to investigate.

The paintbrushes have been put away now

until the eggs hatch and the birds have flown.

Drops of rain send us to the house for cover

But the sun shines behind the rain

And there in the eastern sky the rainbow glows

peace…

 

Where Chives Grow

it was supposed to rain today,

there are clouds and gray

but no rain.

the sun visits occasionally like

one who cannot make her decision.

i feel her pain.

at odds, at loose ends,

the calendar says spring

yet my doldrums remain.

Violets are blooming in the yard, and the cheerful blooms reminded me that it’s the season for morels. Country wisdom says morel mushrooms grow under old apple trees where violets grow. They like damp places when the soil warms up in the spring after a rain.

Don’t listen to me, because I’ve found exactly five morels in my life. And when I sliced one of those five, there was a worm living inside one of its many ridges. That dampened my enthusiasm somewhat.

But that was a long time ago, and there are lots of old apple trees in the woods nearby. Surely even a few morels would perk up a spring supper. So I gathered scissors, a knife, a paper bag, and I went spring walking.

I didn’t see any morels, but I did see a brown thrasher making a racket in the old berry canes.

I didn’t spot any morels, but I did spot a small native bee gathering pollen from a dandelion.

I didn’t find any morels, but I did find an acre of chives — thick, green, and onion-y.

I looked for morels and found none. Instead I found wild cherry blossoms, an ephemeral little stream bubbling yesterday’s rain water down the hill, the sweet song of spring sparrows, and a field of chives, ripe for the taking.

Isn’t that the way of it? If we keep our eyes wide open, we find that the unexpected gift is better than what we were seeking.

I came home with, not morels, but a fistful of chives and a peaceful soul.

 

 

The Gloriousness of June

I THINK
I will write you a letter, 
June day.
Dear June Fifth,
you're all in green,
so many kinds and all one
green, tree shadows on
grass blades and grass
blade shadows. The air
fills up with motor
mower sound. The cat
walks up the drive
a dead baby rabbit
in her maw. The sun
is hot, the breeze
is cool. And suddenly
in all the green
the lilacs bloom,
massive and exquisite
in color and shape
and scent. The roses
are more full of
buds than ever. No
flowers. But soon.
June day, you have
your own perfection:
so green to say
goodbye to. Green,
stick around
a while.
         -- James Schuyler

James Schuyler has written the perfect poem: a love letter to a day in June. Not just any day. Today.

June green is unlike any other, vibrant and alive, still nourished by the spring rains, not yet ruined by hot sun, nor eaten by insects. Next to the June green, the peonies are more vibrant, the sundrops more sunny, the daisies more pure. Yes, June green is more.

The gardens are planted, red pears and green apples are growing, cherries are ripening, birds are nesting, perching, and singing.

The wild primrose opened in Sunday’s sun and surprised the surrounding motley plants. Her dazzling yellow perks up the shabby shed and makes the neighboring weeds look more stately. 

The new gate opens wide and the new fence keeps the fruit trees in and the riffraff critters out (so far).


If I stand by the garden gate I can watch the grape vines growing, their tendrils curling around and around. The grapes are too small still to be more than a vague hope. Will they be sweet? Will they be juicy? Will they be jam or wine?

The cherries are yellow, blushing pink. I ate one today, still sour, still small. Bluebirds are nesting in the eaves of the porch; wrens are nesting by the door. They can have some cherries as long as they share the deep blue June sky.

Dear June fifth, you are glorious. You are enough.