I knew my time was here when the sun slanted in my windows and the birds’ chattering grew insistent. I couldn’t ignore the beckoning-
this is why I live here, right, the winter afternoon walk. The only days in the past year that don’t have a plant of the day posting are ones I spent entirely in my studio. A quiet, pajama-ed world that is entered with determination and left reluctantly, that makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m meant to do, that makes me wonder if in another time I would have entered a convent. There is so much to think about.
But a sunny, 50-degree day in the middle of January lures me out. Slip on worn tennies, new thin black coat. I don’t bring my camera.
With my new eyes (I’ve been away,) everything, everyone is beautiful.
Beneath the greyness of recent weeks and in my absence changes have taken place: there is a little mound of snow in the front yard; the Daphne buds show pink; Iberis is blooming; a crumbling wall in the garden of the person who mulches with silk tree fluff has been replaced-the stones shine pink and peach and bronze; the apple trees in the empty lot still hang with green globes- though the ground is covered with rotting fruit.
The park, short hand for ancient forest in every way, is green
and I feel expectant, as though I might run into someone I know
so I look at each face I pass. There is still a thin sheet of ice over parts of the pond.
Coming around the tip of the water I am greeted by a huge witch hazel in full bloom.
In the warmth of the day it has unfurled its coiled golden petals. From 30 feet away I can smell it’s delicious fragrance- Easter lily plus lemon with a little spice. The bees smell it too, and are darting all around it. From my vantage point the insects are backlit and all the petals are illuminated. I walk around the tree to admire it, to understand it, finally continuing on.