"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lupine Light


The world is gray - dripping, soggy, saturated gray. Coming back from our walk this afternoon, the air was so wet, it was hard to tell if the moisture was falling or rising. It's been more gray than not for weeks now, with no end in sight. June is often one of our wettest months. May is not supposed to be. It's supposed to be the bright sunlit glory born of the previous months of gray, like a reward for having endured all that darkness.

Somehow complaining about the unseasonable rain seems particularly ungraceful right now, especially with so much really wrong and hurtful in the world. I'm trying to find the gifts in this unusual time, not exactly ignoring my sadness at the lack of light and warmth, but just making room for more than that.

I've been surprised to see that spring has progressed at a regular pace even with minimal sun. My favorite farmer's market is selling local strawberries - the parking lot was jammed today. Rhodies and roses and rabbits abound. Swallows are nesting while grosbeaks and so many of their cousins are fledging.

Greens glow an almost nuclear light - the new buds on fir trees, new leaves on oak and maple and hazel, grasses bursting like fireworks in fields too wet to mow.

Lupine or daisies or hawkweed blanket every open space not filled with asphalt. And it was the lupine that helped me make the shift into wonder and curiosity last week. I'm really crazy for the tall purple spikes that grow wild around here. Sturdy plants that return year after year, but which won't easily tolerate being transplanted. If lupines were animals, they'd be considered social. You never see just one, or even a dozen. They exist in patches.

This year they're blooming in huge vibrant pools of the clearest violet blue imaginable. A pasture I drive by often is one enormous lupine landscape, so startling I hit my brakes every time. Roadsides and onramps sport torches of lavender light offering their glory, reaching into the hearts of anyone willing to see, declaring victory. Not against the darkness, but within it. Because without the cool damp shade of this May, their light would not be nearly so vivid.

photo from Flickr

15 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

Again, a beautiful post! I know that kind of green you're talking about too... :-)

She Writes said...

The rain has had me. But those lupines catch my breath. You are right, there is much worse going on in our world. Good reminder.

Wanda said...

I wish Lupines grew that easily here. We're having a good share of rain too, I wonder what summer will be like.
The wrongs in the world do make the rights even more appreciated.
...Wanda

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I love summer green. And indigo nights. :0)

colbymarshall said...

I love the daffodils in my backyard during spring. When they aren't there it makes me sad

Cheryl said...

Raining on the other side of the world too, but still plenty of beauty to it, in fact give me rain rather than drought any day. The poor roos aren't happy, standing around under the trees like soggy mops.

Erin said...

Beautiful!! (And I'm sooo ready for those strawberries to show up here!)

Julie Garst said...

You reminded me to keep looking for the secret delights that are continously new every morning! It gets too easy to get bogged down by the wear-n-tear of daily living.
Thank you for seeing "beyond" and sharing it with the rest of us!

Kathryn Grace said...

Oh my gosh! You completely transported me. I love the gray days for the light, for the way everything living glows in them, though I understand fully, having lived in Vancouver, WA, as a child, how dreary weeks of gray can stretch.

Jody Hedlund said...

I just researched a little bit about lupines because I mentioned them in my WIP! So very cool to hear your experience with them. They're not prevalent in Michigan where I live, so I appreciated getting your view!

kario said...

I love me some lupines. Unfortunately, the bunnies around here find them very tasty and mine are often munched down to nothing, so I appreciate the photo!

Love you and your perspective.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

"not exactly ignoring my sadness at the lack of light and warmth, but just making room for more than that."

And: "Not against the darkness, but within it. Because without the cool damp shade of this May, their light would not be nearly so vivid."

WOWOWOWOWOWOW.

love.

Piecefulafternoon said...

I love the lupines too - we saw big patches of them this past weekend. Great post!

Amber said...

Kids are on their last days of school, and it is raining here today! WTF? But you are right that it feels wrong to grump about it... at least it isn't to hot to keep planting. And my garden looks good!

:)

Wanda said...

It was much easier to come home to and get up in the June sun....