Saturday, March 27, 2010

DREAMING OF TULIPS

Just when we thought that winter had turned the corner into spring, we were visited by a hard freeze last night.  It remains to be seen if the tulips emerge unscathed.  I can remember - I think it was two years ago - when the entire crop of tulips was wiped out. 

In Baltimore, we have a lovely city park called Sherwood Gardens, which is a model of how government and citizens can work together to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.  It is owned by the Guildford Neighborhood Association, which takes responsbility for the planting and upkeep.  The City pitches in from time to time with maintenance.  In a good year there are upwards of 80,000 tulips, along with Bradford pear, flowering cherry, other rare trees, and resplendent azaleas, all open to the public with no gates or fees.  It is the largest tulip garden in the country: http://www.guilfordnews.com/sherwood/.

Here is one of my pictures from Sherwood Gardens:

Sherwood Gardens 2004 No. 3

A most lovely site indeed.

-bjd



Monday, March 15, 2010

FIRST DAFFODILS

Today I saw the first daffodils of spring.  True, they are in a protected spot, but they are undeniably in bloom.  The hellebore a few houses down is also in full magnificence.

There is still a sense of Englishness in the air.  Temperatures are hovering in the low 50's, with a penetrating chill.   A pervading dampness remains from our last big rain over the weekend, which, had it been snow, would have been another major accumulation.  As it was, it provided a boost for the germinating lushness that will soon arrive.

This is Spring Break week.  I will have a chance to savor these small changes, and to be grateful for them.

I have faith that this will be a wondrous spring.  All the conditions are right, barring any late hard freezes.

Faith is the progenitor of hope.  And hope of change:  hope of a new life for me, for our country, and for the world.

Ah, spring!

First Daffodils
(These are miniature daffs,
only a few inches high, but no less lovely.
The rather weathered blade of lariope is for comparison.)


-bjd

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

This has been a rather strange week:  earthquakes, student protests, interminable war.  Much negativity.  There is a sense of unease about the earth and its people. 

I for one am feeling more and more uncertain about the future, not just for myself but for all of us.  We seem to be sliding into a collective spiritual detritus.

And it does not feel good.

I can feel the energy being sucked out of our very nature, and uncertainty seeping in to fill the void.

Surely there must be some remedy for our collective pain.

It has been said that all problems are of a spiritual nature and therefore have a spiritual solution.  One can certainly look at things that way. 

I for one believe we create our own heaven or hell right here in this life and carry it with us wherever we go.  But sometimes the burden becomes too heavy for us to bear it alone, even when we know we need to change direction.

So we must lift each other up, creating a certain spiritual strength in numbers, and turn our eyes as one toward some positive collective goal.  For the spirit goes where the eyes of the soul are focused.

Just imagine what the world would be if we were all focused on love, understanding, and compassion.  On healing the sick, enriching the poor, on feeding the hungry.  On respecting the earth and our fragile environment.  On living gently and sustainably for the sake of our neighbors and our grandchildren.  On erasing fear in the hearts of innocent children who are robbed of their childhood by violence, pestilence and death.

We have the means.  If we only had the will.

Then the earth would truly move under our feet.

The Appearance of Reality:
Heaven and Earth

-bjd

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

HARBINGER OF SPRING

Today is the first day since Snowmageddon that the back yard has been snow-free.

Can spring be far behind?

Here is an image taken in the alley in my first spring in Baltimore to remind us that spring will eventually come.  And it will be beautiful:


Pear and Ivy

-bjd