I woke this morning to the wind, wuthering around my home. It does that, this time of year: howls like a lost soul, or like something mighty that is struggling to break into the world. It drives me out onto the slender paths that wend through the woods of Rock Creek, out between the bare trees and under the bare sky, where, underneath the thick carpet of fallen leaves, the first stirrings of new life are beginning to show.
Always, they are golden. First, a hint of green, then a carpet of golden blossoms, five-petaled, low to the ground, modest, humble, and oh-so-lovely. After a barren time, a hint of more tender beauty.
Winter has its own beauty of course: the fierceness of storm, the tranquil silence of deep snow, the searing blue sky, But now it is almost-spring, and so I share with you today a poem — a poem about those flowers. I hope it will sustain your heart until they do, in time, appear.
This poem is not meant for you
unless you too have been underground
choking on your life’s debris, and
playing peek-a-boo with death seriously
then the surprise of ten thousand buttercups
out of nowhere on every side where they’d
never been before on my daily walk
might have had the effect on you it did on me
I wanted to understand how these particular
flowers came to be—the whole evolutionary
history of mosses, ferns and angiosperms,
the miracle of photosynthesis and DNA, not
to mention the longings of the Milky Way
to reflect itself in the form called flowers and
in these buttercups, which seemed like a
visitation from the sun, urging me to tell you, in
case like me you had forgotten
we are the universe’s latest way of blooming.
What is blooming in you today? What wild thing is seeking to be born? What beauty might it bring?
The poem is by Willow Harth; it is untitled.
The incredible photo of the beehive hut is by Cole Thompson.