I’ve been organizing bookshelves in my office, and I found some classics from my past.
When I was 13, I had to make a decision about continuing my Catholic faith. I decided to step away from the church, and I had many questions. This book helped me with that:
Well-worn reminders of why books are so important.
I had almost forgotten about this fun middle grade adventure:
Check out these great interior illustrations:
Happy New Year!
I hope your year is filled with accomplishments and joy!
From “The Infinite”
So with my mind I encompass an eternity,
And the seasons die, and the present lives
In that sound. And in the middle of all that
Immensity, my thought drowns itself:
Sweet to me, to be shipwrecked in this sea.
—Giacamo Leopardi, translated by Richard Jackson
This is the time of year where the sun sits low in the sky and rain falls sometimes ceaselessly.
So much bad news in recent weeks and too many deaths.
It’s easy to fall into the darkness.
Yet, it’s not my nature to do so.
I find light in unusual places.
Moments of sunshine
and comfort when everything else feels chaotic and unsure.
Yes, this time of year.
I’ve been stealing out in the early morning to empty mountain trails.
Near Ship Peak on Turtleback Mountain.
The lilacs are blooming!
It seems to early, but we had a mild winter.
I want time to stop. With the cherry tree blossoms just about to drop and the lilacs just opening, this phase of spring sings perfection.
In an American literature course a million years ago we read poetry. When we analyzed Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” we discussed the theme of grief and considered the pastoral elements in the poem.
What about the lilacs?
“Have you ever smelled lilacs?” Dr. Chianese, our professor, asked us.
Most of us had not. We were Los Angeles types moved by scent of jasmine and orange blossoms. We had no source of reference.
I now understand Dr. Chianese’s question, for the scent of a lilac is truly exquisite, ephemeral, and unique. The short space of time when Whitman contemplated the death of President Lincoln, and I rejoice in the rebirth of the garden.
I love this blossom time of year.
I don’t remember a time when the daffodils have bloomed this early, yet they are are blooming now on Orcas.
In honor of my favorite season, here’s a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.
is when the muddy yard turns from the snap of winter
Green fingers push through, reaching with fat thumbs
of promised golden blossom.
How does the green know?
Like actors waiting in the wing for the cue
of sunlight cast on mud
the volume of birdsong crescendo
the fingers open
cups to hold
the first sleepy bees of the year.
REMINDERS about WEEKLY POEMS: If you decide to use my poem somewhere, please let me know, credit the author, and link it back to my website. Thank you!
A memory of the California sunshine of last week.
The quiet beaches.
Here’s to working hard at the things that matter,
Here’s to the new year!