The elderberry bushes have been dormant over the winter, only recently pushing out their shiny, dark green leaves. Seeing the new growth adorning the skeletal twigs poking from the soil, I’m suffused with happiness: renewal, regeneration, rebirth, resilience…right in front of us.
Through the vicissitudes of life, when uncertainty and turmoil further erode the fragile veneer of civilization, the trees stand watch. They were here before us and will be here after us. Despite our (humans’) attempts to destroy them – cutting, burning, poisoning – they persist. I celebrate them, bathing in their resilience and quiet energy, and I’m thankful that there are still trees to be enjoyed.
Now may be an opportune moment to spend some time with a gentle arboreal giant…may you find peace in these trying times.
Are these popping up around you, too? I guess that it’s February showers that bring March flowers (at least now). It’s such a psychological boost to see the austere winter landscape coming to life once again and the earliest happy faces, the daffodils, smiling serenely…as they always do. Don’t forget to stop and smell those flowers.
For the fellow word nerds out there: what’s more satisfying when composing haiku than a single word that both fits the bill and has five syllables (swoon)? It’s like playing Scrabble and using every tile…and that’s how I prefer to play it, making as many (arguably esoteric) polysyllabic words as possible and trying to use all of my tiles. It may not rack up as many points, but it’s so much fun!
I love the pine trees that grow on our property. There aren’t many, and they’re old and look like they’ve had difficult lives, but they’re stunning, nonetheless. The gnarled, raised bark begs to be touched…but for the pitch! For me, the smell of warm pine needles and pitch evoke good memories of camping in the mountains in the summer, surrounded by towering pines and the most heavenly clean air. Thank you, trees, for playing such a vital part in humans’ survival on this planet!
For those who like hidden meanings…do you know someone like this, whose scars and evidence of suffering are visible? And, even in a society that places such importance on physical beauty, is a truly lovely individual?
If you have hedge apple trees (also called Osage Orange), you know about the long, sharp thorns. It makes sense that it was once used as natural fencing – who or what would dare push through that? Having tangled with it more than once, I keep this particular tree pruned back so that none of the spines are at eye level (!), yet leave enough branches to create an aerial predator-unfriendly shelter for the fowl (though those thorns can also get stuck in their feet and result in bumblefoot). I consider this a truce of sorts, being extremely loath to cut down any trees.
For those who like to look for hidden meanings in poetry – as I do – perhaps this poem could also be metaphorical. Who knows?
Who’s ready for spring? I am, and numerous plants also appear ready, even though we’re still in the throes of winter – the elderberry bushes have pushed out new growth, seen here bedecked with frost. Yikes. Hopefully, the plants’ optimism won’t be crushed by brutally frigid temperatures. Frost occurs as late as May here…perhaps the elderberry missed the memo.
May the optimism of the elderberry bushes be contagious today.