no hare there

April 30, 2010

It was a delightfully different day today than it was yesterday–snow turned to sunshine. So taking advantage of the evening light while dining with a friend, we walked out to her backyard where I had been admiring the shed. I chuckled at the name of it, upon which she mentioned that it was falling down . . . I was slightly embarrassed to admit that I actually thought it was intended to be slanted like that :-) Either way, the effect is all quite picturesque, even though it no longer houses its original, intended inhabitants. And I did like her choice of a paint job for the barn–what rabbit wouldn’t be proud to be raised in a pink and purple abode?

Having been on a significantly long road trip for the past 3 days, I have had a slight bit more time than usual to “smell the flowers” along the way. To be more precise, however, I have been “watching the trees.” For some reason, I have never before taken such notice of the Springtime Colours. Fall, for sure: that season is a given for me, so far as being awed by nature’s colours. But this year, I see so many varieties of green that I have ended up pointing constantly to name a new hue that appears. No doubt Mel has had enough of it and is ready to be out of a car with me :-) Finally today I requested a stop to take a few photos of them, so here is the resulting pick–not particularly exciting so far as photo ops go, but hopefully it illustrates a little bit of what I’ve been seeing . . .

time for poetry

April 22, 2010

I am one of those [of whom a larger population exists, I suspect, than one might imagine] who tends towards an obsession with words. I seem to be unable to hold back the compulsive composition of word plays, poems, rhymes, and songs. This does come in handy as a teacher for little ones, as I have a knack for randomly composing mnemonic devices to help them remember such things as the French Alphabet, the Days of the Week, and the like.
It is not, unfortunately, as skill that does very well at earning a living . . . but I digress.
The point of my, er, point [;-)] is that I like words. And that I like poems. And so I like Poetry Wednesday.
For today’s such event, I decided to post a poem that is probably familiar to many of those in my blogging circle. Multiple reasons prompted this decision. One of those is that I recently was asked [by one who was used to seeing the name in my email signature] who Gerard Manley Hopkins was. This gave me the occasion to go back and read through several of his poems, and to re-read about his life.
Around the same time, I learned of the newest release by Natalie Merchant which is, I think, quite brilliant . . . a passion of my own, as well. Her album–Leave Your Sleep–is a children’s collection of songs based upon sophisticated and traditional poems, rhymes, and lullabies.
Also around this same time, I accidentally wrote my first “serious” song [as opposed to educational little ditties and limericks]. Consequently, with the urging of a friend and collaborating musician, I have begun the exhilarating project of my own potential [budding] musical project . . .
All that to say, I would like to share with you one of the poems that my dear blogging buddy introduced me too years ago, also introducing me to the poet. This poem is also the inspiration for one of my favorite songs on Merchant’s CD [though I confess that I do not have, and so have not listened to in its entirety, the album.
But enough ramblings from me. Here’s the poem. Enjoy!

To a Young Child
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

mystery plants?

April 20, 2010

When I caught a glimpse of these little curiosities the other day, I knew I would be returning with my camera. After doing so, today, I mentioned my intriguing photo subject to my friend, showing her the picture. I should have expected as much, considering how knowledgeable she is about all things local–but I still found myself duly impressed when she spouted off the name and spoke of what folks do with them . . .
And so I ask you all: anyone out there in blog-land know
1. What the common name is? and
2. What can be done with them?
The first correct responder just might win a prize :-)

the professional angle

April 18, 2010

It wasn’t until right before I left today’s Spring Fair that I realized I had a young sidekick. As I was crooning to the corn snake draped upon my arm, this little fellow, in a noticeably adult-like tone, asked me if I was a photographer. Looking down, I recognized him as the same youngster who had looked on at another child’s artwork when I was snapping photos of him and his father, engrossed in the task of painting a fabric grocery bag. At the time I assumed he was just another child enjoying the artwork activities. But when he appeared by my side minutes later . . . and again shortly thereafter, I figured I must have captured his interest.
Realizing this, I quickly clarified my initial response that yes, I was somewhat of a photographer: Mind you, I added, this is not really professional work, to be holding my Nikon in one hand as I snap a shot of the snake holding the other: but sometimes, you just do what the moment requires :-)

chiming in

April 15, 2010

There has been a “Poetry Wednesday” circle amongst some of my blogger buddies that I have been following for several months now. But I have not joined in, preferring to just enjoy others’ posts. I decided to chime in this week, however. Largely, this is due to my own contemplative and creatively-inclined state of mind as of late. When I am in such a mood, I tend to remember past artistic loves, as well as embarking upon new ones. At the moment, I have been musing on the first poetry I really resonated with: I didn’t even know why . . . still don’t, for that matter! But for whatever reason, I fell in love with A.A. Milne’s “Buttercup Days” back in high school–before I even really liked poetry all that much, so far as I can remember. I read it as school required, but wouldn’t have dreamed of recreationally writing it, as I do now. Enough said . . . here it is :-)

Buttercup Days

Where is Anne?
Head above the buttercups,
Walking by the stream,
Down among the buttercups.
Where is Anne?
Walking with her man,
Lost in a dream,
Lost among the buttercups.

What has she got in that little brown head?
Wonderful thoughts which can never be said.
What has she got in that firm little fist of hers?
Somebody’s thumb, and it feels like Christopher’s

Where is Anne?
Close to her man.
Brown head, gold head,
In and out the buttercups.

-A.A. Milne. “Now We Are Six”

tulips, take 2

April 13, 2010

After my last post, one faithful blog follower kindly made a request . . . asking for a follow-up photo of those tulips once they were fully bloomed. Well, here at Full of Grace, we aim to please :-) With the near-blinding intensity of the hues, I was tempted to, of all things, mute the colour. But I thought better of that and, instead, decided to give you the pure, “unadulterated” photo. So here they are: Mom’s tulips, fully a-bloom. Do you doubt my word as to her “greenest thumb?”

the greenest thumb

April 11, 2010

As I prepared to leave her house this evening, my mother looked up from her Sunday School lesson planning, peered over her reading glasses, and reminded me, “You really should look at those tulips as you head out.” I have learned the lesson, many times over, to do what mom says, even when she says it in the most off-handedly distracted sort of way. So I sidestepped into the garden and poked around until I found this little gem . . . and then I ran back into the house to thank mom for being so motherishly all-knowing. And thankfully, I had my camera to capture its rosy twilight glow.

by any other name

April 9, 2010

Ever since they bloomed, about a week ago, I have been intrigued by these oddly-hued blossoms in my mother’s garden. They are not the sort of flower I would normally swoon over but I just kept returning to look for new shades [white, lavender, even pale green among the current ones]. So tonight I finally thought to ask her what kind they were. Her response made me smile to myself, amused at my own mental workings, as I suddenly realized the true reason for my interest: it is their name. Lenten Rose. It is a striking sort of name, befitting a strikingly homely sort of bloom . . . and I think I have fallen for its unassuming loveliness :-)

Christos anesti . . .

April 5, 2010

. . . Alithos anesti.
Those of you not as familiar [as some of my blogging buddies] with Greek Orthodox tradition may not recognize the significance of a bowl of red-dyed eggs. This is a part of the traditional tsougrisma ceremony, in which I got to participate this year. Between the festive traditions, the reading of Benjamin’s Box, and lingering over post-children’s-bedtime coffee & conversations, it was a truly blessed Resurrection Sunday . . . for you all I hope, as well!