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E-Garden Almanac: We in thought will join your throng!

E-Garden Almanac

The E-Garden Almanac is the push-button, real human journal of Kelly D. Norris. All errors, grammatic grievances, and opinions are that of the author. Kelly is a freelance writer and Master Gardener from southwest Iowa. His passion and obsession with horticulture, plants, and gardening embodies nearly every function of his life. The E-Garden Almanac serves as the web extension of his columns, articles, and lectures.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

We in thought will join your throng!

The most pleasant aspects of this interim period between winter and spring come in the form of everyday things. Longer days, sunshine that seems brighter, sunsets that seem more vivid, and air that, though begrudgingly, becomes warmer.

But pleasant introductions aside, Iowa seems to be following the trend of milder climates so far: spring sags behind the normal clock. Friends in the Pacific Northwest continue to get snow (as do we!) and tell me that instead of hellebores and reticulated irises in bloom, like normal, the snowdrops have just begun. Only a seer could offer a far-sighted guess as to what the next few weeks will hold. But I suppose the reassuring comfort is that something profound will definitely happen.

I recently came across a poem, albeit in the form of a song, that I'd like to share excerpts from. By William Wordsworth (what a killer name for a poet), the nine-stanza ode called "Intimations of Immortality" contain in them a number of springly themes. The poem itself is deeply philosophical and if you'd like to wade through it all click here.

What I'm taken with:

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

The idea strikes me as a resounding affirmation of what I've long held true, that gardeners are vernal people. But our soulful cultivation of the earth is hardly ephemeral. Even in the depths of a bitterly cold and icy winter, we feel stirring inside the gladness of the May. So today when I was sweeping off my deck, watching robins and finches graze unabashedly on a few remaining crabapples, I felt joy in the smallest of ways. It was a chilly 29 degrees today and the only green I saw was the crushed end of a Mountain Dew bottle in the last snow bank of the season. Still, those birds flew about unbothered even taking a few dips in a muddy puddle in the driveway. Though Wordsworth is right, nothing can bring back the hours of joy in the garden amongst green things, that shouldn't prevent us from joining the throng in thought at least.


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