Monday, August 12, 2013

The Flora and Fauna of it all...

Our yards are viral with life these days.

Bern admitted to me today, after she had spent hours extracting a mock orange bush from the side yard, that she had too many plants.

"I never thought I'd say it," she said, her voice full of wonder and amusement. We are so surrounded by living things that I am sometimes washed over by life.

When I gaze at the panoply of plant life that surrounds us, I find it had to imagine that in 4 or 5 months it will all be covered by two feet of snow. But it will...I know that, having lived in New England now for over half of my life. It is that remarkable ying and yang that makes me not want to live anywhere else, ever.

My friends, GW and Eleanor, are moving to Costa Rica in a week or so. They are going to a land of constant late June. I give them traveling blessings but know I couldn't survive in a climate like that. I need the withering and dying of Autumn and the chill and death of Winter. That I need the resurrection of Spring and the lushness of Summer go without saying. But living always in late June--temperature 70-80 during the day and 60-70 at night might sound inviting in the depths of February, but there is no April without February. I love the turn of the seasons.

But nature is 'red in tooth and claw...and vines...."

We have a vine on our back deck that lives inside in the winter that has, amazingly, reached out to ensnare a limb of a Hemlock tree and the leaves of a Rhodendrum. I don't stand too close to it because it weirds me out and I imagine it wrapping around my throat and choking the life out of me. It also has the most incredible blossoms--blood red and seductive in their beauty--and it attracts hummingbirds, so what could be wrong with that except it could strangle me if I stood too close for too long.

A morning glory vine in the front yard wrestled down a yard long Lilly stalk to the ground. I imagined Bern's plants were turning on each other in some apocalyptic kind of endgame. I told Bern about it and this afternoon she freed the Lilly by unwinding the vine. The Lilly is standing up again, but I don't trust plants as much as I used to before I was so surrounded by them.

But this I know and know fair well, they will wither in the Fall and be covered by a couple of feet of snow in the Winter--only to return in Spring again. I like the life-cycle-ness of plants. That would never happen in Costa Rica. Plants live year round there.

That would make me very anxious since I don't completely trust them....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.