Darling Buds- Dandelion

I dream sometimes of the ghosts of dandelions.

Their blossoms do not go quietly into inevitable decay.

Not for them the fate of the cherry  – pretty, ephemeral petals vanishing into the earth.

Instead, dandelions enjoy life only too well.

Their ghosts linger, hollow and frail, spending pieces of themselves on the breeze that they might see even more life, even more colour.

There is less mourning for the loss of their ferocious vitality because they are already planning their next rise, their next grand adventure.

If you pass them by, these small ghost pieces, carried by an indifferent wind-

Greet them as you would a fellow traveler-

The world laid out before their victorious death.

IMG_1951Dandelions- Happiness

The Darling Buds are brought to you by Victorian flower meanings, a wanton disregard for photographic technique, and the letter N for Nostalgia.


I admire the pursuit of joy, even in the face of tremendous obstacles.  For further adventures involving the pursuit of happiness, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.

 

 

 

 

The Darling Buds- Aster

We measure distance here by road stops.

Safe places to pull over that won’t land you in the river or up the side of a mountain or windshield deep in brush and bracken.

The distance to the nearest town is as far as the spread of some countries, a rich view of isolation made obvious when driving.

You can tell the road stops when you see them.

In the summer months, they’re thick with the flowers whose seeds are carried on tires and in the mud on the bumpers.

The flowers aren’t native –

They come to the places of disturbance –

Frantically grow and seed before the underbrush overtakes them.

With their presence, the road stops become a cacophony of colour, of adventure, of the exotic-

Of unmistakeably alien presences.

Someone’s garden somewhere up the line had asters and they are faithful sentinels of the stops.

They mark the change, the variation in green, in brown that carries the other miles.

They announce the place to rest and also where we have etched a toehold into the land around us.

Asters shove through the native plants, only stymied by the dense thicket under the trees.

The bees upon them sing of change, of shifting lands-

Sing of the rich and uneasy coexistence of the frantic tangle of the forest-

And the careful organization of a long-forgotten garden.

IMG_2054Aster- Variety

The Darling Buds are brought to you by Victorian flower meanings, a wanton disregard for photographic technique, and the letter N for Nostalgia.


Variety is one of my most constant companions, for good or for ill.  For more explorations of variation and borders, implicit and explicit, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.

 

The Darling Buds- Cherry Blossoms

The barn was old and the forest behind it older.

It hadn’t been reclaimed then, not by the creeping pine and alder.

Instead, the only branches that cracked the rotting wood and curiously investigated the windows belonged to the sprouting cherries.

There’d been a pen once, for pigs or for chickens, I was never sure.

Someone had spit their leftover cherry pits into the mud.

The cherries outlasted the barn animals.

They formed a thicket around the south side of the old barn, so dense that only a very small child could move between them.

I’d sit there sometimes, hidden between the trunks, letting the heavy heat settle over my shoulders.

I learned to love the smell of rotting wood mixed with the sweet, rich taste of blooming cherries.

I tried to plant those cherries elsewhere, but they refused to grow.

That particular brand of magic was confined to that frozen corner, that strange fusion of the past and present.

When that place passed beyond my knowing, I learned to close my eyes.

I learned to call back the sick-sweet taste of the spring air.

To call back the vision of a thousand blossoms, rising forever above my head.

IMG_1866Cherry Blossoms- Education

The Darling Buds are brought to you by Victorian flower meanings, a wanton disregard for photographic technique, and the letter N for Nostalgia.


I’ve had a number of opportunities for learning. I try to find the value in all of them. For more writing on learning, change, and the value of appreciation, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.

The Darling Buds- Crocus

I was always colder in the city.

Theoretically, that center of humanity and commerce never was anywhere near as cold as the winters I remembered.

But there was some quality: of the air, of the wind, of the never-ending damp.

I was always chilled to the bone-

Shivering, even in the pale light that penetrated the clouds.

It was a strange, slow grind on my mind and body.

Sweaters and heaters didn’t help.

The cold seemed to be as much inside as outside.

When I spoke to those from further north, I always laughed as I looked out the window and told them-

Yes, crocuses in February! You couldn’t even imagine it.

It was only after I got off the phone that I would really look at the flowers.

That I would focus on the beauty as a reward-

And not a punishment.

IMG_1770Crocus: Abuse me not

The Darling Buds are brought to you by Victorian flower meanings, a wanton disregard for photographic technique, and the letter N for Nostalgia.


My grandfather always told me that when you realized you were on the wrong path, the best thing to do was to get off the path. Because no matter how far you traveled, you were still traveling in the wrong direction. For more writing on directions, wrong and otherwise, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.

An Easy Spring

It froze last night.

It was a deep frost, lacing the newly budding leaves with a thin web of ice before vanishing under the anemic warmth of the sun.

Just north of here, there are places with no months that are frost-free.

Spring is deceptive.

Other lands, other landscapes, have easy boundaries between the cold and the warmth.

It is possible to measure, scientifically, the sun angle and the number of days from the Equinox and speak knowingly of whether winter has vanished.

Here, it is closer to magic, to the alchemical process of transmuting lead to gold.

Watch the caterpillars, the shadows of the mountains, the movement of air down the river valley-

Transmute these things into a calculus of still-born life, of a reminder of the knife’s edge we walk.

And still we grow.

Plants bursting forth, a hundred birds rising as a single mind, a single body.

The air buzzing with insects, with songs, with the thick smell of things growing and dying.

There is no freedom from the shadow of death.

Still the green things reach upwards.

No less beautiful for their dangerous struggle.

No less determined in their unfolding, in their relentless march towards life.

IMG_1775Green persists, even in the face of its destruction

I have the deepest respect for the ability of northern beings to keep living in the face of the challenges of their environments.


I am a lover of persistence both in life and in writing. If you would like to read more about persistence and the overcoming of impossible odds, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is also available here.