trees

In parts of the world, but not where I live in North Florida, plants are stretching tall in springtime.

We always appreciate trees when the leaves are new. But I think in the fall & winter, when the  full show of their

green is absent, this is a time to consider what our every day world would be like, if we lived in a land where the trees as we understood them to grow naturally, in woods, & in clumps at seepages of water, down hillsides and circling fileds, were only planted in rows.  Or if the trees weren’t there at all. Maybe you have lived without the cloaks of trees. But I have not. I grew up by a woods. My mother recited the line, “Woodman! spare that tree,” to me about the youth who was sheltered by a tree & could therefore not cut it, when he was older.

When I read children’s books about the tree woman of Kenya, Wangari Maathai, I felt that she must have loved being a little girl, & that in that time of her life, she must have loved trees.  The shade of them, the fruit of them, the branches of them.

There are several good children’s books about her. The one I currently have is from author/artist Claire A. Nivola.

Like all good books, it made me want to know more about what happened to Kenya’s trees. And about how Ms. Maathai brought them back.

So my bedside reading right now is Unbowed: a memoir by Wangari Maathai.


september’s garden

“Flowers are blooming all over the place… ” the character Lydia Grace, in  The Gardener,

by Sarah Stewart with illustrations by David Small, 1997

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“… It is that rarity, a pictorial delight that in 20 double pages gives more and more of itself each time it’s read, and whose silent complexities reveal themselves with continuing pleasure.”  Edward Koren/The New York Times Book Review

My gardening pal Ann gifted me with The Gardener ages ago & it’s now part of my late summer ritual, to pull it down from the shelf near my Frost poetry books & enjoy Frost the farmer & then, the character Lydia Grace’s gardening skills in David Small’s artwork & Sarah Stewart’s inventive series of letters. Late summer is the time when I give my vest-pocket patch an imaginary rainbow-ribbon, for its color mix.

The flowers here, shrimp plant, brown-eyed Susan & blue something that I have to ask Ann about the name, grow in my  September garden in the back yard, a flutter of petals and juicy dirt lined with fallen live oak tree limbs that bear the otherwise aboreal resurrection fern…

I like to write outdoors by the garden with a pencil & pad. Then take inside what has taken off on paper & get that into the computer.