I remember reading a quote once, from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“The earth laughs in wildflowers.”
What a picture those few words imprinted on my mind. I imagined a watercolor painting; the moment when a paintbrush touches down, bleeding its contents slowly and haphazardly onto the paper, each fiber coming alive with color. I thought of endless rolling fields, blank like a canvas, grateful to be the recipients of such beauty. Wildflowers exploding across the landscape … giving the most colorful show and perfuming the world with their incomparable smell, and their magic. This is the earth sharing its happiness.
“A flower blossoms for its own joy.” Oscar Wilde
A nice thought by all accounts, and one I shared with Elle recently while she helped me pull weeds and poke around in our backyard. She completely delights in all things that come from the earth – the animals, the humans, the air, the wind, the rain, the puddles, the bugs, and the flowers. Always the flowers.
On this particular day, we spent the afternoon talking about them, picking them, and making things out of them. The lilac bushes out front had burst wide open and their lavender-pink blossoms were ripe for the picking. “We’ll put those in some sugar and use it to decorate a few sweet treats,” I told her. The very thought of sweet floral sugar had widened her eyes and piqued her interest almost enough to lead her astray from the bunch of “flowers” she’d been working on.
“Before we go inside, why don’t you finish that crown you’re making, hmm?” She nodded and her little fingers began working the dandelion stems again, an effort to weave them together into a lovely golden crown.
I felt the first few drops of rain then, signaling that yet another spring storm would be rolling through any minute, further inspiring us to abandon our dandelion crown weaving station for the day. Elle covered her crown-in-progess with a large bucket for safekeeping and ran inside. I heard her shoes thump against the wall as she kicked them off … her feet pounding excitedly up the stairs and into the kitchen, where she waited for me to show her how to make lilac sugar.
Making my way to the house, I gathered up some loose toys to protect them from the impending downfall – our third in as many days. Sigh. It was hard, though, not to appreciate the very obvious and apparent presence of spring. Once inside, we made our extra special lilac sugar and used it to coat some doughnuts that I fried up out of some buttermilk biscuit dough I had in the fridge. They cooled on a plate by the window as the rains began to fall.
The afternoon storm filled the air with the smell of spring rain and wet pavement; flirting, beckoning us out to the front porch for a front-row seat. The neighbors had just cut their grass, and few smells can top that, if you ask me. You wait out the cold months for it to come back again. The dark skies cast a dramatic backdrop for the delicate pink petals that decorate all of the trees. Spring and its many charms. We enjoyed the remainder of our doughnuts right there on the porch. Continue reading