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.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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