Spring Rites

IMG_6300Lacy green leaves dabbled with lavender mix with tiny white flowers and border the entire length of the trail as I walk in the woods. Stepping over vanilla leaf plants crowding into the path, I marvel, as I do every year, at the fairyland created by the wild bleeding hearts and miner’s lettuce. Bleeding hearts cascade into the backyard, mixing with blue forget-me-nots. It’s magical. Mother Nature is a master landscaper!

bleeding heart with forget-me-nots

bleeding heart with forget-me-nots

I’ve likely written of this magical time in the woods before, and perhaps shared the poem below, but it seems appropriate on this day of celebrating Mother Earth to post a poem written by my father, a life-time member of Nature Conservancy, active in the Sierra Club, and who once told me “John Muir is my guru”.

Earth Day 1970 (I was there, in D.C.!) was to educate ourselves about the need to protect, preserve, and cherish this temporary home of ours, to change our attitudes and ways of living on the planet and become better stewards. We’ve made some gains, we’ve a long way to go. (here’s an nice article on some of the gains: Victories Since the First Earth Day)

Enjoy the poem, the pictures and most of all, enjoy and care for the blessings Mother Nature has given us! (side note: in a twisted cosmic joke, I’m getting a ‘root’ canal procedure today!)

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Spring Rites

Come, come High Priest of Spring,

Come to this sanctuary, following a path

Lit by pale rose and white wild bleeding hearts

Held aloft by leaves of green lace;

Come on a carpet of coiled fern fronds

Interwoven with the dark green of succulent nettle tips;

Come under the vaulting arches of red alder

Whose twining branches out waited winter to greet this time;

Fill your breast with perfume

Floating down from a million bursting leaf buds and

Rising from a million more life forms

Stirring in the rich moist earth;

Be bathed in cloud filtered sunlight tinted green by emerging leaves;

Listen to the chorus from a thousand pulsing frog throats

Providing backup for robin soloists marking territory boundaries;

Come, it is time, as you have for centuries beyond count,

To bless the life cycle renewal of yet another spring.

199DSC009753, Harry Hubbard (1919 – 1998)

Spring mix - Vanilla Leaf, Bleeding Hearts and Miner's Lettuce

Spring mix – Vanilla Leaf, Bleeding Hearts and Miner’s Lettuce

Memories of the Season

Been wanting to write something Easterly or springy, but the mind has darted and danced around in other places this week. Yes, Easter and spring are in the “air”, a favorite time of year for me, a time when Nature expounds on and explodes with rebirth and rejuvenation, setting a fine and beautiful example for new beginnings.  Yet, as much as I feel those energies, I am drawn to my inner world of memories and concerns.

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gorgeous flowering tree in Carrie Blake Park, a favorite dog walking spot of ours in Sequim. I took mom there once to see the ducks.

Concerns are cancer related. A short reprieve from a medication ends. I am to go back on it…for five years.  I have questions doctors and internet searches can’t answer, symptoms and side-effects difficult to live with, and fears hard to set aside. In other words, I’m human, living in a body that doesn’t always cooperate with the program. Watching the PBS 6 hour documentary this week on the history, ups and downs of knowledge, treatments, and attitudes about cancer reminds me cancer is a foreign landscape we still know relatively little about. The film ended with a recent “theory” – each person experiences cancer uniquely. How it manifests in someone makes it their own personal disease, explaining wide variations of response to treatments. I’ve observed this in myself and those I know who have struggled with cancer, whether they chose ‘conventional’ or holistic approaches to treatment. Interestedly, it seems allopathic medicine is recognizing what ancient healing modalities, such as Ayurveda, have known for thousands of years….. it is the person that needs to be treated, not the disease. Latest cancer treatment research focuses on bolstering the immune response in an individual. Unfortunately, these treatments are still in the research stage and been used successfully for only certain cancers. IMG_1244Well, I did not want this post to be about cancer, it’s only one of the mind distractions.  The other does have to do with the season. This week is not only Easter, April 3 is my mom’s birthday, the first she is not here to celebrate. She would have been 94. This year it comes as Easter weekend unfolds. For the past decade Mike and I have spent every Easter with mom, and we have celebrated each of her birthdays with fanfare!  Over the years we’ve taken her on fun trips around her birthday, had parties with friends and family, sometimes just had quiet, lazy weekends here watching spring unfold in the woods. Mom loved Nature as much as I. She enjoyed the watching the hummingbirds at the hot pink flowering currant bush, the bumblebees in the crocuses and rhododendrons, and like a child, she never lost her appreciation for the wonder of the spring eggs laid in abundance by our chickens and ducks, just in time for Easter……and her birthday.

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Flowering current blossom, when they bloom the hummingbirds arrive!

Mom was a holiday person. Every traditional holiday was celebrated at home during our growing up years. Decorations, carefully packed away, were brought out for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, etc.  As she aged, she continued to do so in her home on a smaller scale, but in the last years, the roles reversed and I would set up her decorations, always buying and adding some new, pretty little item just to give her something. It was my way of thanking her for all the years she brightened our lives with holiday celebrations.  We live in a culture deficient in rituals and celebrations and I always enjoyed and appreciated the little ways she honored the holidays.

Mom

Happy April memories: Mom with Easter animals, a birthday orchid in front of flowering currant, an Easter picnic 2 yrs. ago., her lovely smile on her 90th birthday. Center, one of my favorite photos of mom as a young person.

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My ‘woven’ egg.

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Last year’s post, Egg Enchantment, showed the little window eggs I make. This little green chick lived in an old chicken egg, from my childhood, that broke. It is now housed in a sturdy new duck egg home!

So I’m missing Mom. Missing doing something for her. Missing showing her the fresh eggs laid by our young duck, sharing with her new ways of decorating them, showing her the new daffodils we planted, blooming brightly in the sun. There are sad memories mixed in with happy ones.  Last year she had a major fall a few days before her birthday, leaving her spirit shook and her face bruised.  We took her out for a birthday lunch and she was quiet, but enjoyed a hardy meal.  A second fall a few weeks later, on Easter Sunday, resulted in a stroke that went undetected until I arrived and noticed her struggling with speech. Inadequate care at the adult family home she moved to just a few months earlier required a second move. But though I am ‘free’ of the extreme stress, management, demands and ‘crises’ of her care, I’m also void of the person with whom I have shared the simple pleasures of Easter and spring throughout my life. With her April birthday, and Mother’s Day a month later, spring, Easter, and the joys of watching life unfold, are all wrapped up with Mom memories in my heart and mind.

That’s all. Thanks for reading as I indulge in a bit of wallowing.

Wishing you all

Happy Easter/Spring!

Celebrate however fits your beliefs, but DO celebrate! Find someone to celebrate and share this joyous time of year with, or do so in honor of my mom!  😌

Enjoy previous Spring posts:  Egg Enchantment,  Hare Hare Everywhere,  A Season of Celebrations, A Season of Forgiveness.

A memorial page for Mom: Ruth Hubbard

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A little bunny weaving to wish you Happy Easter!