Well, it's gray as hell today and the wind is whipping in spurts and starts, pulling the magnolia leaves along in a sort of rusty-sounding dance. And the day before yesterday was like spring and I could smell the warm dirt and everything felt like a sweet, kind promise. And then the day before that we got so much rain that when I walked down to the creek two days ago to see how high it was, I couldn't even cross the open field after the path through the woods because it was all flooded and the trees were growing out of the lake the creek had made when it had abandoned its banks and spread with ferocious purpose as far as it could reach.
Crazy weather, here, y'all and if what I read and hear on NPR is true, it's crazy where you are too.
But in the midst of all of this, there is color, there is life. Even the creek has its own life, one day calm and trickling over the white sand bottom, polite and cheerful, chuckling as it swirls around fallen trees and branches, the next day it is no longer a creek but a flood plain, brown water covering formerly dry ground.
But it is Florida, after all, even if it is North Florida, which is not anything at all like South Florida (which is why we live here) and there is color. The freeze nipped the camellias but they have come back, their blossoms like treasures I find as I walk around the yard. Here are some:
They make my heart so happy.
I love the tiny violas. Can anything be more cheerful, more sweet? Such an old-fashioned, romantic flower:
Even in the house, there is blooming. A spider plant sends out shoots with blossoms:
It won't be long before the azaleas open up and gift us with their purples, their pinks, their lavenders. They are not subtle, those azaleas. I love to cut huge branches of them and bring them into the house but the best is when the azaleas and dogwoods bloom at the same time and I cut branches of those too to stand up in the vases with the azaleas. The whites against the purples- that is something to look forward too.
It's Sunday. We're eating oatmeal, I have rehearsal this afternoon and we're supposed to be off book. Ha! My brain is still sieve-like, the lines going in and falling out with a clunk on the floor beside me and there is a good chance I'll end up weeping on the old boards of the Opera House looking for them before the day is done.
I hope not.
The chickens are figuring out the new arrangement in the coop. Elvis is pacing nervously about, wishing his hens would come out to greet him but they, so traumatized in the past few weeks by Sam, show little signs of wanting to come out at all, but sit huddled inside on the roosts. I am hoping that with patience and time they will forget the pain and suffering they've been through and will become the happy, clucking girls they are meant to be and will begin again to lay me their beautiful eggs of brown and green and blue.
I think I will go out now and throw some corn into the coop, see if I can tempt them out of bed. The next time I go to the store, I am going to buy them grapes, no matter how much they cost. They miss their grapes and I miss the offering of them to the hens, their quick pecks of acceptance, their satisfied clucks of enjoyment.
And I did. I took them the kitchen scraps and everyone came out to eat except for Betty. I left her food and water in the hen house because it's going to storm and I don't want to let her outside and besides that, I want with all my heart for her to find her way back into the sisterhood.
All seems peaceful. I wish you could hear what Elvis sounds like when I give him treats. It's a low-throated Ahhh, ahhhh, ahhhhh. I hope he's a good rooster for me, now that Sam is gone. He is so pretty.
And the hens have given me this:
Peace in the coop, peace in the nest, peace to you all.