Early this morning, at my neighborhood market, the produce man was putting
out a wonderful display of fresh strawberries from a nearby farm. In the next
bin was the last citrus of our local season, still good, but clearly the
winter citrus time is over.
Summer is “stone fruit” season.
Each day gives us something superb: with dozens of varieties of peaches, pluots,
plums and apricots. We seem to know the week by what will be at its perfect
ripeness. It is almost too much! Maybe it is too much. But, we indulge.
However, the weather changes and the
coming of brilliant Cara Cara oranges, a vast array of mandarin-type citrus, luscious pears and crisp autumn apples say “it is fall”...simple joys through the cold,
gray days of winter.
Then, Spring and a couple of weeks
of sunshine produces a new bounty….berries. We don’t really need a calendar to
tell us of the changing seasons…we can taste it.
Patiently waiting dogs outside a
nearby coffee shop…not quite what Milton
had in mind with his near perfect sonnet, On
His Blindness. I don’t mean to make light of this beautiful poem, but the
focused waiting of these dear companions immediately made me think of the final
line…a beautiful reminder for me about patience and what our purpose really
I consider how my light is spent
half my days in this dark world and wide,
that one talent which is death to hide
with me useless, though my soul more bent
serve therewith my Maker, and present
true account, lest he returning chide,
God exact day-labour, light denied?"
fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
man's work or his own gifts: who best
his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
The miracles of Spring on the
smallest scale have been very much in my thoughts the last few days. Perhaps
because life on a larger scale has been difficult to hold: friends and family
dealing with major health issues, the daily news overwhelmed by
negative/violent stories, the utter dysfunction at the political level.
What an astonishing thing it is for
one seed….just one seed…. to burst forth in its cycle of birth/rebirth. That is what I am given to hold today. The
other thoughts are really irrelevant
when the miracle of being bursts in! Digging around in my little garden area
this morning and visited by three butterflies…two monarchs and a wood nymph, I think. Without
a camera that would catch them at a distance, so I am attaching a tiny, wild
Lupine that I discovered in a nature preserve in the Sacramento delta….just because it seems right
Despite my best intentions to not let age and aging
impact my zest for life, somehow a birthday (yes, it is one of those days)
brings a dreary and more serious contemplation of who I am and where I have yet to go. I appreciate reflection, but do not want to get mired in what could have
been, or even more destructive, what should have been. I am using this
wonderful quote from Jack London to spur me into a truly positive space today.
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that
my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by
dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent
glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not
to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my
Second photo is that brilliant blaze....in opposition
to the contemplative, dreary grey man. I used this photo once before here...on another contemplative day.