One of the pieces of work I picked up this spring involved the famous CDC-Kaiser Permanente study about Adverse Childhood Experiences — fascinating, but not an uplifting read. This study, not surprisingly, recorded that one way to break the cycle of childhood maltreatment is through positive relationships and experiences — perhaps tending flowers.
Where I live now, previous owners planted walls of lilacs between our house and the town. The walls have gateless openings where we walk (or run) through, and the lilacs are different varieties and colors. These early spring/beginning summer mornings, when the dew is heavy on the grass sprinkled with white and purple violets, the air is fragrant. Mystery upon mystery: who planted these flowers and how can they smell so beautiful?
On the Memorial Day weekend, here’s a bouquet of flowers and mystery.
Man is always marveling at what he has blown apart, never at what the universe has put together, and this is his limitation.
— Loren Eiseley
In these last few days, in my corner of Vermont, we’ve experienced snow, raw cold, heavy rain this morning — and now rushing radiant sunlight.
Suddenly, as if reluctant to waste a moment, little blossoms around our house have opened — some I planted, the crocuses and grape hyacinth — but all through the flowerbeds and behind the compost are tiny blue flowers — Scilla siberica.
When I was a novice gardener, I only planted vegetables, with some crazy notion that my labor should go solely towards what ends up on the dinner table.
This afternoon I see the pollinators are already busily working on these beautiful petals. Balance, balance.
If ‘dead’ matter has reared up this curious landscape of fiddling crickets, song sparrows, and wondering men, it must be plain even to the most devoted materialists that the matter of which he speaks contains amazing, if not dreadful, powers, and may not impossibly be, as Thomas Hardy has suggested, ‘but one mask of many worn by the Great Face behind.’
— Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey
Glory of the Snow, Hardwick, Vermont