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A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Drinking Green

I have been on pilgrimage to the North (or so it seems). Our family had a reunion in Colorado, and then I went with my daughter and her husband and babies first to Utah and thence up through Idaho and Montana, to Washington and then back through to Utah.

It was balm to my waterless soul, this journey. How I have missed the verdant velvet of grass lawn. At every stop I took off my shoes and luxuriated in the tickle of the soft grass on my bare feet. I romped in it, rolled down hills covered in grass like I was a child once more. True I was with my adorable babies. Ace enjoyed rolling down the hill with me. Nathan has yet to develop any liking for grass yet. He sat with his left foot raised above the grass the entire time. I'm sure he would have raised both if he had been able to figure out how.

I have longed for the sight of thorn-less deciduous trees spreading their lacy branches above me--trees I could climb and sit in. We stay sometimes with Nat's in-laws, who are wonderful people. They have hung a swing from the branches of a huge spreading tree in their back yard. I loved sweeping out over their magnificent garden in the seat of that swing. That is a real tree. The aspens of Colorado as they quivered in the breeze--real. They reminded me of the aspens we planted in our yard in Durango. Everyone told us aspens would never grow there. Now those aspens are huge and taking over the yard in all their shimmering loveliness.

We saw fantastic strawberries knee high and gorgeous. We saw farms waving with alfalfa and soy beans and a plethora of other crops. We saw mountains covered with phalanxes of old-growth fir and pine trees, velvety in the distance and towering over us on the passes. We passed through a riot of wildflowers blowing in the breeze and turning whole mountainsides purple and yellow and bright red and orange.

We went to a park garden lush with flowers of all sorts. Part of it reminded me of the Versailles gardens in France--everything set out perfectly, the colors blending into one harmonious whole. There were gardens of perennials, gardens of roses, a Japanese garden, a hothouse full of orchids and varieties of cactus I'd never even seen, living in cactus world as I do. On the hillside, there was a wild portion devoted to forest plants and trees. And best of all, there was a whole garden of LILACS!

Lilacs are my favorite flower. They happen to be my favorite color and their scent is luscious. It fills my nose with memories of childhood--always good--memories of new dresses; Nonnie (my great grandmother); trips across the United States to see relatives back East; of rolling down the hill at church in my Sunday dress and hiding in the lilacs from my sister; memories of hunting through gravestones for relatives in Gunlock, Utah. How I wish I could bathe in their scent, and remember.

This stream of green runs through all of the events of the last two weeks (most of which I won't elaborate on here), bolstering me for the blistering heat of an Arizona summer. I drink it in eagerly, so that the green flows to the tips of my fingers and toes like life-giving blood. Ah the heady, rich scent of growing things flowing up from the ground and into my thankful head--filling me with the richness of elsewhere and elsewhen. God must truly love us to give us such a world in which to grow.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I could really picture everything you spoke of in a tactile way.

    My son also hated the grass when he was around 2, and would have done anything to avoid it.