On the way to the kitchen,
two steps past the dining room window,
I had barely glanced outside in passing,
having already witnessed the scene of early spring—
hackberries still bare-branched from winter,
the dogwood’s gray limbs holding up leaf buds
like tiny green candle flames,
the rust colored, dried blooms of a rhododendron
that flowered too early and froze back into fall colors.
It was a flash of pink that caught me by surprise.
I step back to the window
for a second look.
A newly planted azalea peers back at me,
low and close to the mulched garden
in my neighbor’s yard.
And very pink.
I wasn’t expecting pink.
Winter was so raw,
so kill-the-plants frigid
that I’ve been intent on discovering what survived.
Bit by bit, life was revealing itself—
Lenten roses in holy white,
daffodils and forsythia in sun-kissed yellow,
violets gowned in deep, regal purple,
Nature’s parade of spring fashion.
Yes, these I knew.
These, I had seen.
But now this fancy, frilly pink azalea
waves in the wind and fairly shouts,
“Look at me!”
And, of course, I do,
marveling at the appearance of this cheeky pink plant
loud and bright,
proud in my neighbor’s garden,
and worth a second look.
So of course, I do,
and I will,
again and again
until the whole neighborhood
is alive with spring.
– kh –
Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.
Nature of the week:
Shadow of the Week:
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Text and photos © 2023 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.