In honor of National Poetry Month, and Mary Oliver, our beloved national poet who passed away in January, I will be posting one of her poems each evening in April. I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Clarkson and read a poem on Instagram Live in the evenings as well…Follow me on Instagram to tune in.
the milkweed now with their many pods are standing
like a country of dry women.
The wind lifts their flat leaves and drops them.
This is not kind, but they retain a certain crisp glamour;
moreover, it’s easy to believe
each one was once young and delicate, also
frightened; also capable
of a certain amount of rough joy.
I wish you would walk with me out into the world.
I wish you could see what has to happen, how
each one crackles like a blessing
over its thin children as they rush away.
This poem can be found in the collection Dream Work.
FLX Letters are an idea I came up with a year ago. My intention is to give a monthly glimpse into life in the Finger Lakes, through my lense and perspective.
On this last Saturday in April, I am at my desk, wrapped in a wool sweater while snowflakes whip past my window. The line of evergreen trees shivers and shakes in the cold wind while the sturdy, still-bare maples just stand and endure. The gray, dismal bluster of the day seeps through the cracks of this old house, attempting to drive me back to bed with a pile of books.
I refuse to give in to the gloom! Fairy lights are twinkling around the library, the delicious smell of (gluten-free, dairy free) a strawberry-raspberry fruit crisp is filling the house with home-baked happiness, and I’m listening to the lovely strains of Easter music by Gustav Mahler and Francis Poulenc.
For all the folks who live in warmer climes and wonder why someone would want to live in a place where it still snows in April, one of the reasons is precisely because of days like this. At least for me. For an introvert and a book nerd, it means time to reflect on the past few weeks with a flip through my bullet journal. Time to make a cup of tea and plan blog and social content for the next few weeks. Time to work through my new stack of library books.
It means enjoying the wildness and unpredictability of the weather where one Spring day it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, sunny and mild, and three days later I put on my winter jacket to get the mail. You just never know what you’re gonna get in the Finger Lakes Region.
It also means when warmer temperatures do settle in, they won’t be taken for granted. Each warm day of our short and sweet summer season is a gift, a chance to create beautiful memories with friends and family, with local wine and lakeside walks, taking in sunsets, hiking the gorges, delighting in treasures from our gardens, or discovering a village on a little jaunt through the rolling countryside to the next lake or two over.
The cold and snow of this April day give me space to do things I wouldn’t do if there was sunshine and warmth to beckon me out of doors. I will live slowly today, relishing the hours spent with a friend who is coming over this afternoon for a cup of coffee and a chinwag. I’ll read both poetry and prose, practice piano, work on a watercolor idea, and do some vision casting. This is a day for hope, for good what-ifs, and as Emily Dickinson wrote, for dwelling in Possibility.