These Indian Pipes popped up on our hillside a week ago, hundreds of them. I almost did not make it up there with the camera in time to catch them, they disappear so quickly! I have always had difficulty letting go of beautiful things that don’t last. Like sunrises which fade in a few short minutes or the notes of a wood thrush’s song. Perhaps that is one reason why I am an artist and writer, I am searching for ways to catch these things. Today I am having a hard time letting go of spring. Not that I dislike summer, I simply like spring better, and it always seems so short! Here is a poem I wrote about spring several years ago.
Beneath the sash there strayed an elfin wind
Which lit upon this volume’s trembling leaves.
It ruffled them with careless, scornful touch
And reading half a verse turned to the next.
Then lighting on a scrawl entitled Spring
It read the lines with withering disdain.
“Of Spring!” It cried, “How dare she write of Spring!”
“What does she know of Spring who lives in walls?
She never felt the swiftly swelling bud,
Nor has she tangled with the newborn mists.
She never kissed the icy, rippling stream,
Sprung from the snows of January’s storm.
She never rested in the tops of trees
Strewn with a lace of new unfurled leaves.
Nor ever combed from waving grasses hair
The harbored jewels dropped by the morning dew.
How can she write of Spring?” And gathering
Itself to go, in haughty pomp, it turned;
Yet stopped, for to the page was held, secure,
In flowing bonds of ink and simile.
Thus was my Spring: The little swelling buds,
A little mist, a little cold,
Some leaves and grass, and . . . wind.