Time seems to be whipping by at a pretty good clip. It feels as though we are all in some sped up animation. During a conversation with a friend years ago, we expounded on the theory that time goes faster as you get older due to the fractions. When you are three years old, a year is an entire third of your life. At twelve years old, one year is one twelfth of your life, which is a rather big block of time – a long, drawn out scenario in slo-mo; lengthy school semesters, bracketed by winter and spring breaks and then what feels like endless summers. When you are thirty years old, one year becomes a thirtieth of your life. It goes a bit quicker, but there is still the impression of longish winters and summers that stretch on at least a bit, and the feeling time is on your side. “Next year” and “last year” are still separate entities. By the time you are sixty, a year becomes one sixtieth of your life, a sliver of a fraction in relation to the rest of your existence. One sixtieth blasts by in what feels like a heartbeat. Events “seem like just yesterday”. Time blends together. I imagine one eightieth, one ninetieth, is merely a blink.
I recall almost the very moment when, as a child, it suddenly dawned on me that different flowers bloom at different times and then faded out – that they did not bloom in spring and then last until winter. The fact that each one happened in a sequence; the daffodils would come in April and be gone a few weeks later, by mid-summer the orange daylilies would appear along the side of the road; Joe Pye weed would herald the end of summer. The discovery of awareness of cycles in everything, that exciting epiphany while being very young. I still divide up the the seasons into smaller increments in this way. The blooming of the Irises. The arrival of the geese. The building of the nests. The fledglings. The Fall migrations. It continues to evoke a sense of wonder.
In the early morning crispness, parked in a wicker chair on The Urban Porch ™ with a mug of hot green matcha tea in hand, I watch as the turnover of flowers and the nesting of the sparrows keeps time.
The poppies on the corner finally did flourish – not as impressive a show as last year, but still enough to stop foot traffic and attract admiration. Almost finished now, they still glow at dawn’s light and again at sunset, later becoming illuminated by the streetlights at night, their heads nodding neon-like in the dark. As the poppies make their final bows, the Irises enter the stage. First to bloom are the large, pale purple ones.
Soon thereafter the Siberian Irises send up their points. Some of my favorites, I have planted both white and deep purple varieties. They rise above their stalks like birds.
Occasionally the stillness of flower-contemplation is broken by observations in the street. While we did not end up with a rookery of crows this year, there are a few nests in the area and they make their appearance known. We also seem to have an abundance of cardinals. In addition to the Northern Cardinals, today I picked up the songs of the Robin, a Baltimore Oriole, a Tufted Titmouse, and the ever noisy House Sparrows. The sparrows are becoming bolder, alighting on the railings and hanging plants not far from where I sit. Perhaps it would be fun to see if one could be enticed to alight upon my hand and take some crumbs. Porch Goals.
About a week ago I observed a young man with a back pack, happily striding down the street on his very long legs, loudly whistling a bird song. The other day he passed the house again. Every time a cardinal would sing from one of the trees, this guy would imitate the bird and whistle the same tune back at it. The cardinal would repeat the song and the man again would respond. They did a call and response all the way down the street. It was actually pretty cool.
This morning Bold Squirrel has once again blasted immediately past both the dog and I as we sat on the porch. The phrase that instantly came to mind was “How saucy!” A saucy squirrel. Sounds so old fashioned, doesn’t it? Like something out of a children’s book in the 1950’s. As an aside, I discovered which neighbor has been feeding them the peanuts. She was telling me that the squirrels have come to expect peanuts from her and while they are boldly hanging around her yard, they are digging up her plants. She gets such pleasure out of feeding them, so I expect we will be seeing peanut gifts buried around the place for a long time. Mystery solved.
A ladybug landed on my hand today. Down on the sidewalk, the ants have been busy making their underground homes, leaving round little anthills in the strips between the bluestone slabs.
A friend who lives about fifty miles away mentioned that Bluebells have suddenly appeared in her yard, although she had never planted them. Oddly enough, when I walked outside I discovered a surprise blooming of Bluebells on the side of my house. I did not plant them either and there has never been any growing here before. There must be a reason for these wanton appearances…. many, many seeds being carried from somewhere afar on the wind?
Across the street in front of a large Victorian house there is an unusually heavy showing of white Spirea, glowing, billowing flower clouds which surround two sides of the home. I caught a photo of them just before they edged past peak.
While out and about this week, I came across a Horse Chestnut tree in bloom, which was rather stunning.
There has been a significant run of blissfully beautiful weather, with perfect temperatures, bright skies and delicious breezes. I’m in the midst of quietly celebrating a birthday week, with a variety of small pleasures and appreciations. While all this gorgeous sun has been beyond lovely, the fact is we really needed some rain. That finally happened yesterday, which felt like a gift in itself. As the low pressure system moved in, the leaves of the Japanese Maple suddenly flipped to show its palms in anticipation. A gentle misting started just as we finished walking back from the farmer’s market.
When light drizzle turned to steady rain, that became the opportunity to hunker down inside with a good book and some chocolate. At one point I took Rudi out for a quick walk, where we both got a bit wet walking through puddles of concentric raindrops that appeared on the sidewalk in front of the house.
Afterwards, the rest of the day was spent just dwelling in “the cozy zone”. The farmers and gardeners surely were smiling in thanks.
The rain ended and today dawned another stunner. Everything exploded again after being quenched. You would never be able to tell I had weeded, they all came back so quickly! The month of May dances on in the most delightful way. We are moving right along, in fractions…..