Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Lenten Rose

Here is the great pile of snow that the Bobcat rolled out of our driveway, and along
the fence line to create a little parking spot.
In some spots along the street the road is practically a one lane road, although the last few days of warmer  weather have taken all the ruts away and we are now driving on pavement – mostly.
Not that there has been any sunshine!!!  It is possible to follow the sun as it traverses the top of K Mountain, but only as a faint glow behind the lowering clouds.
I looked at all this snow stacked like large dirty white haystacks at each intersection in town, and thought glumly about when we would ever see a bulb or blossom with two feet of the blessed stuff covering all the garden.
Then I thought about the Hellebores, – those lovely Lenten roses that only have a few days to make it to Lent, which is early this year, according to the moon.
It was a warm afternoon.  I will go out!!!!
I walked to the mailbox in my boots, slushing through the snow at the sides of the road. 
When I came back I found a small shovel, and after I had put feed out for the birds I started to remove the snow carefully where I knew the Hellebores were tucked in under their white coverlet.
Here is what I found!!!
How brave and beautiful as they did what they had to do in the season they were called upon to do it
I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling of hope and well-being they gave me.  I have been waiting with such longing for spring and the garden to distract me from my other yearnings
Inside, some of the bathtub forsythia has made it to the centre of the table – a lovely cheering accompaniment to dinner-for-one
along with three delicious books of poetry that arrived in the mail.
Mary Oliver’s ‘What do we Know’ and ‘Owls and other Fantasies’ as well as the selected poems of Wendell Berry.
From Mary Oliver….bless her for the beauty and the wisdom and the joy and comfort she imparts…..
Here are her thoughts on springtime and the woodpeckers
All day the flicker
has anticipated
the lust of the season, by
shouting.  He scouts up
tree after tree and at
a certain place begins
to cry out.  My, in his
black-freckled vest, bay body with
red trim and sudden chrome
underwings, he is
dapper.  Of course somebody
listening nearby
hears him; she answers
with a sound like hysterical
laughter and rushes out into
the field where he is poised
on an old phone pole, his head
swinging, his wings
opening and shutting in a kind of
butterfly stroke.  She can't
resist; they touch; they flutter.
How lightly, altogether, they accept
the great task, of carrying life
forward! ............


The Stonehedge Farm said...

It is nice to know that spring is coming..eventually.
I love the snow.. but this year of all the years.. I am longing for spring to make it's arrival.

Barb said...

Three books of poetry and those forsythia - you are a master at diverting the doldrums, Hildred! I am still reading Oliver's new book, A Thousand Mornings. Good for the Hellebore!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Such a lovely and poignant post. Thank you for sharing. The 'ForCynthia'* is beautiful and would cheer me up and I am so glad you found those hellebores. I didn't know the legend about them blooming for Lent. Thank you for telling me that!

(Our daughter's name -- she was convinced the flower that bloomed around her February birthday was named for her!)

Dimple said...

I have been looking for my snowdrops, but they haven't made their appearance yet; I'm glad you found the hellebores doing their job!

I always learn something when I visit here, Hildred, thank you! Today I learned what a Lenten Rose was!

I rescued a flicker which had strayed into our glassed-in porch yesterday. He didn't stay to chat!

Blessings to you, and may spring come early!