17 May 2011

oh, tulips

Every spring, I notice something new. This is slightly different from Anne of Green Gables' thought that every spring, everything is new.

What I mean is: every spring, I notice something new in all the newness of life around me.

Of course it isn't really new. Redbuds aren't new. But this spring, I've been looking at them as if I've never seen them before.

Have these trees always been here? What a silly thought. Yes, they have, but for years, my eyes must've glossed over them. Skipped straight from bare branches to small green buds to full leaves creating shade and dappling the sidewalk underneath with cool repose.

I've been stopping and staring so much at the redbuds this year that, for the first time in 3 years, I was late to work one Thursday morning.

I couldn't take the hurrying anymore, off to the office, off to the day, off to the projects. And so I'd walked a little more slowly, breathed a little more deeply on my morning walk with little pug.

The price of those 5 minutes was a look from my boss—you know the one—but that's a small price to pay. Insignificant when you realize that you bought more pleasure, more joy, more life with that one look.

But I never miss the tulips in the spring.

I have never not noticed tulips popping up red and yellow, black and white. Like daffodils, they are spring to me.

Daffodils are spring's first hint, first promise; tulips are its full celebration, a cacophony of unnecessary color.

For the tulips today—tulips dressing up this gray day—I have two homages:

A picture I took on a sunny morning walk.

And a poem from William Carlos Williams, that master of capturing small charms of the everyday life.

I hope you like them. I hope they make you feel springy today.

The Tulip Bed
William Carlos Williams

The May sun—whom
all things imitate—
that glues small leaves to
the wooden trees
shone from the sky
through bluegauze clouds
upon the ground.
Under the leafy trees
where the suburban streets
lay crossed,
with houses on each corner,
tangled shadows had begun
to join
the roadway and the lawns.
With excellent precision
the tulip bed
inside the iron fence
upreared its gaudy
yellow, white and red,
rimmed round with grass,

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