I have been transfixed for several days by the immensity of flowers which have followed one of the driest winters. No sepia is to be seen among bushes brimming with dinner plate-sized flora in vivid red, pink, magenta, yellow and lilac.
Today I interrupted another parade of drudgery and wandered in the rain. Somehow I did not snap a single fuzzy photograph (unlike my husband, the exquisite nature photographer, ordinarily I bat around .500 on a very good day).
Some of the flowers seem to be weeping immense tears. Others look as if they are clenching their petals against the onslaught. A blue-violet iris seems to be using its outer petals (the falls) to enfold its center, like a pregnant woman protectively holding her abdomen.
Despite the deluge, some leaves seem to be no more weighted by the pearl-sized drops than they are by morning dew. Most of the petals are a captivating pointillist filigree that seems like it would be cool velvet to the touch.
And now that I look at these pictures without the intervening camera lens, I see within the curling petals, swirled and settled by streaming rain, images I certainly didn’t see before and will not soon “unsee.”
Look above. Do you see in the center the face of a tiny winged creature or a canny pirate with a headscarf tied to its left, where its gaze warily wanders? Or perhaps the face of a 1920s flapper, with a scarf and slightly-upturned, flower-bedecked hat with a soft curl of bobbed hair beneath it? (One of my sons sees the head and beak of a chick turned to the right.)
I’d like to share one more and one perhaps less optimistic poem for a rainy spring day. John Clare wrote:
Love lives in sleep,
‘Tis happiness of healthy dreams
Eve’s dews may weep,
But love delightful seems.
And in the even’s pearly dew
On earth’s green hours,
And in the heaven’s eternal blue.
George Hebert wrote The Flower: