Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 I see them from my kitchen window.  
Pops of pink, red and orange in the garden. 
They survived the early frost, tall,
four feet at least, and still blooming, 
my cut and come again zinnias.  
It's time, I think.  Company is coming
Time to pull them up, tidy the garden.
The stalks are withered brown, the leaves rusty 
and white with mildew  - never mind the blooms.
Time for the compost pile.
I go to the garden to wrestle flowers 
from the ground, out of misery.  Cover the earth 
with a layer of brown mulch, bought, expensive, 
from the big box.  Neat, static.  A picture in a magazine.
Sun rays focus on this patch of life, warming.  
I have to take off my sweater. 
and then I see
A lizard, brown like the leaf on which she stands, 
looks up at me. Butterflies and an old monarch
still visiting their orange and pink lovers.
a frog beneath an overturned clay pot,
bees buzzing, a moth with a tattered wing
and my cut and come again zinnias,
still alive, 
some buds not yet opened
in the november of life.
breathing generativity.
The whole plant is thriving, bustling
busy with living and dying,
not ready for the compost pile - not yet.



This is Shay, my tow-headed Potter, who turned out as an aging, gray Harry on Halloween despite the jet black hair spray. He loves casting spells, and unfortunately because I have seen the movies and read the books, I understand what he’s saying. I use silencio on him, but alas, the spell’s short-lived.
Sometimes I’m embarrassed I love juvenile literature. I have an excuse. I have kids, so I am exposed to these things. I’ve enjoyed the Potter and Hunger Games series, and such delicate classics as The Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. I wonder what I’ll use for an excuse when my kids are grown. Much to my joy, in reading the book The Happiness Project, I learned the author started a juvenile book club with adults for the pure joy of reading kid’s classics. I think there’s a lot to be said about coming at life and spirituality with the love and wonder of a child.

Post what your favorite juvenile literature is. Let’s share favorites!



A solitary bee worked his way from flower to flower.  This being November, he didn't have many to choose from as he buzzed here and there over the sand dunes.  A few viney weeds among the scrub bushes and pine trees still held yellow blooms, and he seemed to be making sure not to miss a single one.  As I watched him, I remembered the somewhat depressing statistic I'd heard from some beekeepers at the recent fair, that the life's work of this bee would amount to only a fraction of a teaspoon of honey.  "Poor little guy," I thought as he kept collecting the pollen.  Just as he got airborne and aimed for a particularly bright and large blossom, a gust of wind challenged him.  I have never been a big fan of bees, or anything else that stings, but I suddenly found myself rooting for this one.  "Come on, come on," I told him quietly, as I willed the wind to die down.  He kept pushing with all his might into the wind, determined to stay on course toward his goal, for what must have seemed aeons from a bee's perspective.  The wind was relentless, and I began to lose faith.  "I think I might just quit right now if I were you, little bee.  What if you sit this one out?  What difference will it make if the hive misses out on the teensy little bit of honey you'll make, anyway?"  But the bee could not understand my fatalistic musing.  He knew what he was put on earth to do, and no matter how small his contribution, he was going to do it.  The wind finally subsided, maybe as awed as I was by bee tenacity, and he landed, exhausted, on the object of his desire.  It was all I could do not to cheer.


1 comment:

  1. Dawn, as a grown-up without kids, I used to be embarrassed going in to Barnes & Noble or the library to get Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. Now I realize, they're just really good stories, no matter what age you are! I no longer hide my face when I go in for them. Twilight is a different story . . . :)