Tag Archives: awakening rose

Still, Life is Beautiful*

summer garden

summer garden

Awakening, November 2016

“Awakening,” November 2016

holly, "Savannah," The National Garden, United States Botanic Garden

holly, “Savannah,” The National Garden, United States Botanic Garden

dim sum, Wheaton, Maryland

dim sum, Wheaton, Maryland

community concert, Charlottesville, Virginia

community concert, Charlottesville, Virginia

food for the hungry

food for the hungry

ump Mountain Vineyard, Rockbridge Baths, Virginia

Jump Mountain Vineyard, Rockbridge Baths, Virginia

birds

birds

*Even though (some days, at least) I think the world is beautiful does not mean I am unaware of the challenges facing our country. I will continue to shelve food at the food bank, help 4th graders learn about the local watershed, and garden organically. It’s time for me to renew my membership to the National Museum of the American Indian, and to donate again to the ACLU.  I believe in the the Constitution (I actually studied it in high school,  as an undergraduate, and in graduate school), including the entire Bill of Rights. I am earnest. I am strong. I believe in the rule of law and in tolerance. I told you before that I didn’t like strife.  I still don’t, but I will speak when I need to speak.

 

Report from June 20, 2016

awakening,Tom's rose

awakening, Tom’s rose

This morning I have been whistling snippets of Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  This pleased me because I love that music and because I was happy to note that I was whistling again.  I haven’t whistled much these last years. I think maybe one has to be more lighthearted than I am or have a younger mouth than I do. In any case, this morning’s whistling sounded pretty good to me.

I started whistling when I was very young.  I remember wandering around the backyard in Detroit just whistling. I don’t know how I learned to whistle, but I was proud of my skill. I did love to whistle Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah long before I understood the baggage that went with the song. My dad was a whistler, too.  Sometimes, when we were stuck waiting in the car, Dad would whistle to amuse us children.  He would whistle Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance and other war horses.

When I was in college, I used to whistle as I walked home alone at night from class or the library, but it wasn’t because I was scared.  It was because it was dark, maybe a little damp, and because the music I made sounded beautiful to me. I whistled the love theme from Zeffirelli’s movie Romeo and Juliet, various bits from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites, “I am a Maid of Constant Sorrow,” and, of course, the Sabre Dance.

For many years, I whistled a bit of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, ditties from medieval Christmas music, and whatever else my ear and mouth could pick up.

Late this morning, it finally dawned on me why I was whistling the Mendelssohn. It was Midsummer yet again, 42 years after Tom and I were married in Salt Lake City. That was long before life became so–I don’t know, less a romantic ideal and more visceral and earnest. We were lucky then with our dear family and friends with us to celebrate and we are lucky now to have each other still, even if the whistling is halting and off-key.

I don’t know if I ever whistled this song, but I surely sang it through all these years:

What I’ll give you since you asked
Is all my time together;
Take the rugged sunny days,
The warm and rocky weather,
Take the roads that I have walked along,
Looking for tomorrow’s time,
Peace of mind.

As my life spills into yours,
Changing with the hours
Filling up the world with time,
Turning time to flowers,
I can show you all the songs
That I never sang to one man before.

We have seen a million stones lying by the water,
You have climbed the hills with me
To the mountain shelter.
Taken off the days, one by one,
Setting them to breathe in the sun.

Take the lilies and the lace
From the days of childhood,
All the willow winding paths
Leading up and outward.
This is what I give
This is what I ask you for;
Nothing more

Judy Collins, “Since You’ve Asked,”  Wildflowers, 1967

In the High Sierras

In the High Sierras

Prologue: Book Report II

For some time now, I’ve been meaning to write, but, as you might have noticed, I haven’t produced anything since I gave you my mother’s cookie recipe.

First, I wanted to write about the five Lake Superior rocks I have by my birdbath here in Central Virginia. I didn’t know what I was going to write about them, but  I know they are important to me. My guess is that I wanted to say something about the thesis and antithesis and synthesis of the North and the South (and the East and the West, for that matter) inside of me. Something like: I love the little birds and flowers here in this (mostly) mild place, but how I love that cold and wild Superior.

Lake Superior rocks and birdbath

Lake Superior rocks and birdbath

Then, I wanted to write about my swiss chard: maybe something more about the about the polarities in my life. I grew up eating iceberg lettuce or, to be exotic, the odd bit of romaine or escarole. When I was still quite a new gardener back in the early 1980s, I figured out that there was no point in me growing either head lettuce or spinach. The former didn’t work for my home garden—I need greens all the time, not one time and then you’re done. The latter bolted as soon as the weather got hot and it’s hot everywhere I’ve lived since the 1970s: hot and dry or hot and humid. So, I started growing swiss chard even though it seemed exotic to my bland mid-western self. Swiss chard grows for me in  hot and dry and  hot and humid and cold and snow and  mud and baked clay. I love it. We eat chard in salads and in pasta and with rice.  My favorite chard varieties are “Bright Lights” and “Rainbow Mix.” I am growing organic “Rainbow Mix” this year. How lovely, how timely: Here’s to our rainbow country and may we all live long and prosper.

swiss chard, "Rainbow Mix"

swiss chard, “Rainbow Mix”

Later,  I wanted to write about how Tom and I camped on the Eastern Shore. We were so excited to be among the wild horses at Assateague National Seashore, but a little time passed and I forgot to write.

wild horses, Assateague National Seashore

wild horses, Assateague National Seashore

Finally, I took dozens of photos I wanted to share with you of Tom’s climbing rose, Awakening, but none of them (even the photo below) were able to  completely capture the gentle, fresh beauty of its reality.

awakening copyright Lynda Terrill

Awakening

I think I couldn’t write because my mind these days is like a Tilt-a-Whirl. My mind spins one way and then another. It stops, goes up, then down, and makes me sick in my stomach and in my head.  I couldn’t shake out the words.*

A trusty remedy for my twirling mind has always been reading. Child and woman, student and teacher, I have enjoyed book reports. Expect a report tomorrow on the four books I am currently reading.

*I have never liked amusement park rides. So many stories: the feckless pilot of my bumper car trying to be cool like my brothers; two go-rounds on the Edgewater roller-coaster, to be cool and then puke; my sister-in-law encouraging me to go on the “mild”  pirate ship, so that I felt even more terror than on the Hershey Park roller coaster. Apparently close to the ground is where I belong. Anyhow, if you want to see a photo of the Bob-Lo Island Tilt-a-Whirl and other photos, go to https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.127533410970.137189.126609635970&type=3