2.18.2010

Lenten Beginnings

Pruning
I was up in another peach tree yesterday, nipping and tucking. A little here....and a little more over there.  It was all a bit hurried, as these tree's owners called me into active pruning duty a few days ago and out here on the balmy coast of California, spring has all but sprung. The race was on between me and the buds, the little furry slips of white encasing each bud straining against the pink petals within. I know there is a spiritual corollary here, about new life coming from seeming deadness, but all I could think about was the lateness of the hour and the canker that was quietly lacing its way throughout the tree's canopy. I felt sick about just how much diseased wood I had to remove, and since I forgot my gloves, I was dribbling bleach all over my hands as I tried to disinfect my clippers between cuts. I also took a smack to the face by my telescoping loppers, and still have a long red scratch from a branch that wouldn't let go of my neck. By the end of the afternoon I looked like I was trying to prune the Whomping Willow. But why am I complaining? The sun was bright, the Swell Season were singing to me, and someone else was watching the Littles (thanks Mum!)

I'd like to give up griping and moaning for Lent. I'd like to give up Netflix, and late night nibbling. I'd like to take up repentance and contemplation in place of spaced-out vegging and Internet voyeurism. I need Jesus to come in and rummage around in me, grub up the fear and anxiety, root out doubt and impatience. If there was some sort of spiritual analogy with double digging, I'd like that too. I want the oil of gladness instead of a heart full of dry ashes. I want Lenten beginnings.

2 comments:

Blessed said...

Amen, sister. I am starting late, but am also having my beginnings. . . : )

rosa said...

I happened to look at the calendar on Tuesday and was astonished to see that it was Shrove Tuesday. "Where did that come from?" I thought to myself. "It was just Epiphany." We found a church pancake supper to go to that night, (the people from Zachary's did the pancakes, double yum.) I've still never done to ashes thing, maybe next year?
I'm glad you're partaking of this strange season of giving up, Blessed! May you be blessed for it!

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.