Monday, May 3, 2010
A mixed bag of emotions
This week I have been unable to keep my eyes off the reports from the Gulf of Mexico. I have never been to coastal Louisiana, but the marshes of coastal Georgia are one of my favorite landscapes, and the mangrove swamps of my Florida girlhood were magical places, full of birds that hardly looked real. I mean, how could something as outrageous-looking as a roseate spoonbill manage to exist? The thought of the numbers of deaths that are probably occurring as I write this--and that are due to a cultural addiction in which I participate--leaves me feeling sick and saddened.
But going into the garden-to-be always brings healing. This week brought the sight of the first tiger swallowtails of the season, and the amusing spectacle of courting grackles. For a few moments it seemed as if wild grackle sex would take place in broad daylight in full view of the neighborhood grandmothers as we chatted over the fence, but discretion prevailed, and the birds moved on. The places where we haven't mowed yet are dotted with tiny seedling trees, at least some of them white oaks, offspring of the two giants whose pollen gave serious grief to my sinuses a few days ago. What does it say that the sight of the babies brought delight, and a reminder to self to get the little things in pots for for an upcoming plant sale? If they find homes, those two-inch trees may live for 500 years, more time than separates us from Shakespeare. Such a thought is a true comfort.