Blooming Bulbs and Other Spring Things

Ballerina Tulip

This is a Ballerina Tulip, one of the stunning blooms at the Botanic Garden at Mt. Holyoke Collage, where David and I spend Sunday afternoon.  (Upside down, it looks like a ballerina’s skirt.)

I was hoping that there would be some calla lilies, but there was only one lone white one stuck in the corner of the Medicinal Plant section.  Apparently, The underground stem of the calla lily was used as a medical treatment for dressing wounds in South Africa.

But other blooms abounded, with all kinds of tulips, daffodils. hyacinths, and myriad other plants labeled with their scientific names. I wished that they had also included their common names so that I could actually identify them.

Two of the medicinal plants that were included were Ayahauasca and Peyote.  The  exhibit featured a large Ayahauasca plant, but the Peyote was nowhere to be found.  We wondered if someone stole it.

I noticed that there were no cannabis plants and I wondered why.  I never thought to ask, unless it’s not considered medicinal?

Spring is a time to celebrate new beginnings, so on our birthdays (March11 and March 12; we we born exactly 36 hours apart), David and I exchanged commitment rings.  I have not worn a gold band for more than 40 years, so it was a major decision for me.

At age 83, we are both at the same stage of our lives, and while we have different histories, we have arrived at the same place — physically, psychologically, emotionally. It’s all good.

Today, at 5:24 pm is the Spring Equinox.  We are all eager for Spring to arrive in full force, especially after the most recent Nor’easter, which dumped about 18 inches of snow up in the hill towns where David lives.  He is trying to find a place to live closer to me, but it’s a challenge, for all kinds of reasons.  But we will figure it out, together.

Other Aprils (05/15)

Tank tops and shorts
on the first warm day of April,
sprawled on the dorm lawn
in adolescent abandon,
air smelling of
baby oil, iodine,
and sweet spring sweat.

The Eiffel Tower
on the first warm day of April,
arm locked with arm
among the winds of Paris,
air smelling of
wine, tulips
and a lover's sweet caress.

Boy child and ball
on the first warm day of April,
laughter on a learning curve
stumbling in wet grass,
air smelling of
new mud, wet pine,
sweet sun after rain.

Contemplating the dappled shade
on the first warm day of April,
glider swing creaking
its soft lullaby,
air smelling of
lavender, memories,
and sweet seasoned dreams.

one for the girls

I look out my rear window and all I can see is the monstrous cab of a bright and shiny red eighteen wheeler. He’s practically crawling up my spoiler. I’m in the left lane on a two-lane stretch of the Mass Pike. I’m driving back from a couple of nights helping out my daughter and the day is gloriously just spring.

I’m on cruise control, two car lengths behind the car in front of me — in front of which are a couple of big delivery trucks. To the right of us are an empty car-carrier and another truck. I can’t move into the right lane. I pump my brakes, but the monster cab is so close to my rear that he probably can’t see them. We all drive along that way for a while, the trucks setting the speed, the red monster cab threatening to gobble me up.
There’s finally an opening in the right lane, and we two cars take it. The trucks take off in front of us, passing each other in some kind of bizzare tag game as they disappear into the distance.

It’s so warm that I open my sun roof, loving the freedom of the road, radio station surfing to find some music that suits my mood. I settle on Country. It reminds me of my carefree adolescence hanging out with a bunch of guys who had a country western band. They taught me the only three guitar chords I know, the ones that suit just about every Everly Brothers tune — at least the ones that were popular during the 50s. As I continue my controlled cruising, I tap my foot to the simple rhythms of songs about old cars and lost loves and I sip at my bottle of cold Starbuck’s Mocha. Life is good.

And then it gets better. I zoom by (just a bit over the speed limit) the big bad bright red monster eighteen wheeler, along with three of the other trucks, pulled over to the side of the road by a blue light blinking police car. I’m tempted to beep or wave out my open sunroof; I opt for descretion. Then Martina McBride comes on with This One’s for the Girls, and by the time she gets around to singing the chorus for the second time, I’m singing it with her:
This one’s for the girls
Who’ve ever had a broken heart
Who’ve wished upon a shooting star
You’re beautiful the way you are
This one’s for the girls
Who love without holdin’ back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world

Now both feet are tappin’. I’m dancin’ in my seat.
It’s a good day.