Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Spring is a sneaky season. I look out the front window, turn away…and when I turn back, there it is.  The grass is green, the bushes have buds, daffodils’ cheerful faces are everywhere. Forsithia forsith, blossoms blossom. Daylilies, still weeks from flowering, grow with the speed of bamboo. The ones encircling our mailbox, when grown, provide a distinctive thicket of orange flowers and leaves that make directions easy. “We’re the house with the mailbox almost obscured by orange daylilies.” When I cut them back in fall, I worry that my husband won’t be able to find our house, a not unfounded worry.

I carry a folding chair to our west-facing deck, unusable during summer except during the morning or for baking, roll up my pants legs and sit, senses bemused by spring.


Forsythia forsithing

Ese, of “Ese’s  Voice”, has set us a challenge of writing a haibun including either the word “bridge” or “fountain.”  I chose the former in a paean to spring’s wealth of fruit.


I stand by the kitchen garbage can eating cherries. Pull out the stem, toss it away, pop the cherry in my mouth. The decision: roll it around for mouth feel, enjoying the coolness and smoothness before eating it OR eat it immediately, savoring the juicy summer taste of it before spitting the pit (or letting it drop) into the can. I’m hungry and the taste is exquisite. It’s Sherlockian eating…elementary, my dear Watson…just eat and spit, eat and spit. The pits make a satisfying sound as they hit the takeout container that held the ribs my husband brought home from a work lunch, pork ribs smoked over applewood, then glazed. The leftovers reside in the fridge until tomorrow.


Spring is an orgy of fruit, beginning with strawberries, segueing into raspberries, blueberries and blackberries; delicacies that are the bridge between the stored or imported fruits of winter and the in-season, freshly-picked indulgences of summer. Outdoor markets are awash with heaping baskets of colorful fruit, perfect for al fresco lunches, submarined in glasses of champagne or sangria, or eaten greedily out-of-hand from bushes or baskets.




Posted: June 10, 2014 in Nature, Poetry
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If the label “haibun” is off-putting, think of it as poetic prose with a haiku at the end.  It doesn’t matter if you know anything about haibun or haiku or poetry.  It matters if the ideas ring true and touch something in your heart.


Spring: the tender bud; hidden, delicate flowers; slowly unfurling leaves; animal babies and fluffy baby birds; perfume wafting from blooming bushes; last year’s milkweed rising like the bones of long-ago beached whales on empty shores; chill nights.

Summer: waves of green; hundreds of foot-tall plants making rain forests for small creatures; paths shrinking as fronds reach out; hot midday sun making all life somnolent; jewels of morning dew burning off quickly.

Fall: a fading beauty; dressing carefully in shades of russet; the structure beneath her skin more prominent now; clinging to accents of color; fighting a rearguard battle yet still a head-turner.

Winter: stark beauty all that remains; time for thought, for personal pruning; lingering indoors, wrapped in home, family, and warm blankets; being mesmerized by fires in stoves and fireplaces; walking, clothing-cocooned into a world resting patiently, waiting for the tender bud of spring.

Gazing out window
A moment for reflection
Oolong tea to drink

For a more oblique haiku, I offer:

Sixteen stories high
Peregrine falcon rides wind
Traffic snarls below

I wrote this a few days ago as I was cleaning up the yard.  Very different meaning tonight.  Both meanings apply.  It might be appropriate in the US that a definite chill has arrived tonight as tomorrow is tax day.

Winter detritus
Clings tenaciously to earth
Hides burgeoning life







Monday night

Monday night


“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”
~ Charles Dickens, “Great Expectations”

(Or summer in the morning and winter at night.)

Nature waiting

Posted: March 15, 2014 in Poetry
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River shakes icy cloak
Flings it joyously aside

Earth waits patiently
Watered by the melting snow
Ready for new growth


Spring has come, the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is.  ~Unknown

Spring arrived today.

I know.  Spring isn’t official until March 20th and there might be getting measurable snow tomorrow night and Wednesday.  Temperatures are going to dip into the 20’s on Wednesday, too, before popping back up to the 50’s on Friday.  But spring blew in today.

The sun shone brightly this morning during the entire time that I cleaned, straightened, put away, recycled, organized tax information, baked biscotti, decluttered the basement and worked my way through all the other chores on my to-do list.  The warmth steadily ate away at the snow still mounded from an unusually prolific winter.  Sidewalks and streets ran with snow melt, the sounds of drips came from roofs.  Matted leaves, those leaves that always end up my yard from somewhere else, no matter how well I rake, were exposed as their snow covering retreated.  As tempting as it is to try to move them, I know it’s still too wet.  The grass, mostly shaggy brown, hides tender shoots of green.  I haven’t spotted any plants sprouting yet, but I know they’re down there, biding their time until whatever temperature is set internally  is reached and the energy that causes growth is released.

As the sun streamed through windows waiting for a spring cleaning wash, I took the step that let me know irrevocably spring has arrived.

I opened the door to the deck.

The air that flowed in wasn’t winter’s cold, heavy air, charging in, taking over the house at the speed of a Marine invasion, but the soft, dancing spring air, cool but with just enough warmth to cajole me into leaving the door open.  Not enough coolness to cause the heater to kick in, but just enough to start my blood dancing with the crazy joy of spring.  Even though cold and possible snow are in the forecast, that blood has started the dance that isn’t going to stop until the daffodils are up, the grass shows more green than brown, the leaves have been packed away into garbage bags and the winter coats are cleaned and in the closet until next year.

Spring arrived today.  O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!  I chortled in my joy.  (With apologies to Lewis Carroll.)

Ten thousand flowers in Spring.
The moon in Autumn.
A cool breeze in Summer.
Snow in Winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded
by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
– Wu-Men


I’ll be away from home this weekend and busy, so I won’t be able to get back to you promptly.  Thanks for visiting.  May your weekend be filled with beauty, no matter the season.

Flame-colored tree flaunts
Colors to warm my cold hands
Honking geese fly south

Trees hug their last leaves
Like towels clutched by shy young girls
Predatory wind


It begins as rain, spits and sprinkles, settling down later to something harder and more deliberate. Errands run, lunch eaten, I settle down to the never-ending struggle to impose order of some sort on papers and miscellany, a book-on-CD inserted into my laptop to keep me company. To the accompaniment of descriptions of luscious food and exotic places, I glance out the window to see the change from fall to winter announcing itself…not permanently (tomorrow will be cold but then the next days warmer)…just that tap on the shoulder announcing: “I’m on the way. Get ready. Find those missing gloves, bring out the hats, make sure your winter coats are clean.”

So glad I did yard work yesterday, although more remains for upcoming warmer days. Three bags of yard detritus stand next to the garbage can for pickup in the morning. Until the beginning of November, each bag of yard waste must carry a stick-on tag, purchased for a bit over $2 at local stores, in order for the city to pick it up. From now until mid-December, pick-up is free. I take advantage of that.  As I carry the bags from the garage in the deepening twilight, only a short while after 4 pm, the wind cuts coldly through my sweater. Yet it’s invigorating and makes the lights shining through the window seem even more welcoming. Christmas waits just over the horizon, maybe some cross-country skiing, although we got rid of our old skis when we moved. On Cleveland’s east side, in the snow belt, there are plenty opportunities to sled or ski. In Chicago, not only is there usually not enough snow, there are very few hills. That’s the prairie.

As evening arrives, I pull out my recipes and cookbooks. Soups and stews sound wonderful. I’ve asked for a new 3-quart crockpot for Christmas to replace the one that broke, but in the meantime, there’s the larger one, making enough for several meals and for the freezer, too, if I can carve out enough space. Maybe soon I’ll bring my winter coat up from the basement and hang it in the front closet. Winter is on its way and I’m ready. I’m also looking forward to my January visit to Arizona to see my parents. Winter makes it even more desirable.

Fall colors and winter snow.



More winter, less fall.


Darkness comes early after the time change.  The wet snow sticks heavily to everything, pushing dying leaves and fronds to the ground.


The bird apartment (on the right) is getting a covering of snow. Might be time to scatter some bread crumbs.  The snow provides a decoration for the bare bush on the left.


Fall…a poem

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Nature, Poetry
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Fall swept into town today on the arm of October,
   their entourage of glitterati 
   wrapped in golds, greens and reds.
With a bow to Summer,
   she shook her tresses,
   sprinkling the ground with 
   richly-hued jewels,
   wet with Summer’s falling tears,
then blew away to somewhere else,
chill and wind left in her wake.