Friday, May 18, 2012

Hello, Gorgeous


I am in love. All over again, I am in love with the peonies and I remember - as if I could ever forget - why they are my favorite, favorite flower! And oh, how I missed them with their dear, plush petals. It doesn't get cold enough in Florida for peonies - or lilacs, their springtime sister that takes second-place in my heart.

"These are girly flowers, Mama!" says my younger. She is smitten too. "I want to sleep in a peony! I would be a peony fairy and live in it." And later, "I want my wedding dress to look just like this!"

I know I've shared this poem somewhere here on the blog before, years ago when I was lovelorn for their annual display, reminiscing of their fragrance... that I couldn't quite capture... that would take me back to my grandmother's garden. But Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. And she is writing about my favorite flower! It doesn't get much better than this; it is a rite of spring for me. Enjoy, enjoy! And have a blessed weekend!

Peonies
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open--
pools of lace,
white and pink--
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities--
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again--
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

- Mary Oliver
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