Paint Box – Greens

Spring explodes like a paint box come to life; spilling across the browned winter weary landscape. First, the greens come.

I recently learned a new word. Viriditas. My high school Latin teacher would be amazed! Viriditas means “greenness” – vitality, lushness, verdure, fecundity, growth.  I am grateful to Mandy for sharing this word and its connection to Abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). It seems a perfect expression of the living green captured by the soul as the light dances over grass and leaf life.

viriditas

He makes me lie down in green pastures… He restores my soul.

 

Sweet, gentle spring unfurling

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This year, spring came like a dainty fairy from a children’s storybook. In my own story, I am like a plodding Mrs. McGregor raking leaves and twigs, pruning, tidying beds, cleaning bird houses, filling the birdbath and feeders. Meanwhile, the tiny sprite stirs wrens to sing, tufted titmice to flutter in the bath. bluebirds to dash about the yard and golden finch to chatter in excitement at the feeder.

There is soft warming air to breathe and I take joy in finding tiny gifts of spring: violets, mosses, greening grass and the ever lovely daffodils.

daffodilsAnd softly stirs a bit of Mother Goose, “Daffy-down-dilly has come up to town,
In a yellow petticoat and a green gown.”

And that day ended in blue all around.twilight

 

Country gold

Heavy weighted fog pressed down, but along the roads and parking lots, there were golden bells proclaiming spring! I captured these if full ring outside the library. forsythia

Inside, I captured Melissa Michael’s new book and Karen Kingsbury’s too. At home Jeff Goins new book had arrived!

book stack A bounty of riches waits on my table, urging me on through my work sessions, teasing me with promise of inspiration, fresh insights and ponderings.

I have followed Melissa and Jeff on their blogs for a number of years. And while I don’t read much fiction, I do enjoy Karen Kingsbury. Her new series, Angels Walking, is compelling. This is book two. Now for some long quiet evenings!

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During the longest, coldest winter, I sorted through my sewing and crafting things like a squirrel in semi-hibernation turning over her cache of nuts and acorns looking for choice specimens to savor.  While at first it was almost a sad endeavor, I now feel the freshness in it. Encouraged by the writing of Bonnie Grey, Cheri Gregory and Kathy Lipp, I came to see that my stash had actually become a hindrance to creativity and productivity.

Cheri had a great post that helped me. Projects get interrupted in my life and when I go back to them, sometimes I couldn’t figure out where I has stopped and what I should do next. My notes, if any, where like a code I couldn’t crack. And so I would set them aside, again. Procrastination. Frustration.

After reading her post, I went through my supplies and created a small collection of future projects and wrote out my plan for each in as much detail as I could. If I didn’t have a plan, I chose not to keep it. I freed myself of leftovers from past quilting projects and other crafts this way too. And the good news? I have actually been sewing again! I’m finishing things, and fluffing the guest room. Projects seem fresh and exciting. And more good news – I’ve found a place to gift the overflow, investing in the creative lives of young women. This makes me smile, big!

The plans?  Itemized and amplified to included any other needed items; typed, saved, printed! No little scraps of paper written in mysterious code!

goldfinch

He is Risen!

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Glorious now behold Him arise; King and God and sacrifice:

Alleluia, Alleluia sounds through the earth and skies!

John H Hopkins, Jr. – We Three Kings

He is risen indeed!

Blessings to you and all those you hold dear this Easter!

To sparkle

Amaryllis

I drink in the beauty long delayed and so welcomed. No matter the time of day, these lily-like flowers enchant. Life locked in bulbs with a mysterious time clock – leaf, bloom, rest - go round the seasons.

Amaryllis

I’m honored that my minor contributions to their wellbeing allow the cycle to continue and they flourish. The name Amaryllis means “to sparkle”.

Amaryllis

Outside, the same clock of life ticks. Green leaves push hard through frozen ground, leaf litter, snow and ice.

 Snowdrops

And morning surprises with snowdrops seeded into lawn and weed patch – nature’s seed time and harvest continues.  In the gentle rhythm of seasons, the light of life can shine deeply into dark and hidden places. In prepared soil or hostile environment, in tender care or neglect, snowdrops grow and bloom.

I’m observing lessons of both hope and warning to consider what is growing in the soil of my life and heart. Today, I choose hope for myself - to see in these blooms a willingness to embrace life, the new thing springing forth even in what seems to be wilderness. Choosing life, growing in obedience to Creator God, persevering as from a seed growing through harshness of soil, sometimes bitter cold, flood or drought and even life’s mowing seasons and on to maturity, bringing forth beauty to delight the soul of another whether or not they understand my name or words or calling. Perhaps then I would sparkle too.

Amaryllis

Spring cleaning

Yesterday was lovely. The ground is still frozen under the inch or so of muddiness, so I needed to walk slowly while I tidied up on my walk. All the better to see.

hyacinth    Lenten Rose     moss

snowdrops

Then last night, March began tossing every branch of tree and bush; shaking off winter, stirring buds, and no doubt howling “Spring!”, into the very roots.

I feel it too and rush about dusting and clearing away, yearning to throw open the doors. Soon.

 

 

 

 

Ruby glory

RubyIt’s been a long wait. Summering on the back porch, resting in the garage through fall, re-potted at Thanksgiving…waiting…hardly a green tip for Christmas…

Jan 9 Jan 9   Feb 16 Feb 16   March 7Mar 7

Two pots; the first to show green will be opening in the next day or so. This one had another stalk which will open in a few days. An abundance of richness was forming slowly, so slowly this year.

I don’t know if you love houseplants; I’m really not the best caretaker, but on long wintery days I love sitting in the dining room with living green while the earth outside still hides its treasure.

While the temperatures outside have been moderating, the snow and ice accumulation this winter was such that the reservoir has been frozen over. I could not resist the drive early last week.

Loch Raven

I’m sure we all hope that winter is truly over and the first day of spring will bring in a long and lovely new season. These last days we have had rain and fog and now wind howls about drying the surface of things. Tomorrow, the ground should be firm enough that I can look for the Lenten roses. I optimistically freed them from their thick overcoat of oak leaves the beginning of February at the suggestion of the garden columnist. I have hoped that the blanket of snow has kept them safe. Are you hunting for signs of spring too?

February Snow globe

Swirling snow, glittering ice changing scenes inside my world like a snow globe upending daily.

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Outside our home, brutal cold; while inside, a kind of hibernation seemed to take hold as both I and my computer had viruses. I am delighted to report we have both recovered ourselves.

This has been a winter not soon forgotten. We’re so very grateful for home and warmth and traveling safety these long days.

Rhoda, the weather lady

 

snow day

This is my friend Rhoda, the rhododendron. Rhoda lives outside my bedroom window and is the perfect weather reporter. When a look up at the sky tells me little, Rhoda can be depended upon to report rain, sleet, snow and especially frigid conditions.

The day this photo was taken it was not too cold as the leaves are open to catch the snow. Today they are open and drip with icicles so although it is below freezing, it is not much below. As the temperatures drop farther and farther, the leaves will curl back, sides to middle, till they look like tight little green cigars and the whole plant structure is visible.

Rhoda has been known to give hospitality to nesting birds. The Mockingbird is especially fond of this location. And of course she blooms beautifully each spring. Here she is in the top left corner.

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Spring! Coming soon!

My computer is currently being held hostage for ransom but I am working to be able to upload new photos through hubby’s which will include Rhoda’s weather transformations.