Tag: 2020 April Group Writing

Group Writing: The Harbinger

 

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass–innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.
Walt Whitman

So many beautiful group-writing posts this month, on the topic of spring flowers. It’s my privilege to round out the total on the last day, and I’m doing so by writing about the humblest of spring flowers, one which is regarded by many as a noxious weed and garden-spoiler, but one which means the world to me.

The dandelion (taraxacum officinale) takes its common English name from the French phrase dent de lion, or “lion’s tooth.” That’s always struck me as odd because the petals don’t look like teeth to me at all. But I suppose a phrase which seems more appropriate to me, crinière de lion, or “lion’s mane,” isn’t as appealing–“crineerdelion” neither looks, nor sounds like something one would want in one’s garden.

Classy Music from a Garden in Spring

 

My new favorite classical guitarist, Xuefei Yang, has taken to playing short pieces for us from her garden. It is very professionally done, the guitar coming through perfectly along with a bubbling fountain and birds chirping. The camera looks through the branches of a tree, blossoming in spring. Enjoy!

Member Post

 

The monthly theme is going through a bit of a dry spell this month. Whether you have a flower or blossom sighting from a walk, or a bit of beauty in or around your abode, do snap and share! Please stop by the April group writing sign up sheet, with the broad theme “April Flowers.” Yes, […]

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Oblivious-to-Spring Flowers

 

African violets grown indoors are, from my experience, temperamental, independent, and picky. And they defy embracing any particular growth season. So I’ve learned their preferences and learned not to argue with them. Otherwise, they just give up and die.

I’ve grown African violets for many years. When we moved into our Florida house, they clearly fell in love with our master bathroom. The bathtub sits next to the glazed glass windows with a southeast exposure, so they bask on the rim of the tub. I have about eight to ten at a time, because I’ve learned they like space to stretch their leaves. And once you’ve found a place they like, you don’t mess with success.

Whatever they demand works for me.

Member Post

 

As we enter the Easter season, after the long Lenten season, and as spring brings some promise of brighter days ahead, how about another play list? We earlier celebrated spring flowers, in song. Here are a few tunes about April, or rain, or spring. April showers may bring flowers, depending on your latitude and attitude. […]

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Member Post

 

When I signed up for this group writing, I was thinking about my grandfather’s glorious garden, which a few music videos were filmed at. But sadly I ran out of things to say after five sentences. So instead, I am introducing you to the most famous scene in Cambodian ballet. What does ballet have to […]

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My parents love music and have always enjoyed singing along with their favorites. I can remember many car trips with my parents leading a sing-along with tunes like “Sweet Violets” and “The Rattlin Bog.” When Papa Toad and I were dating, he and I traveled cross-country by car and all around the Northwest hiking, climbing, […]

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Member Post

 

We are currently caught up in a pandemic. It’s breath and depth is yet to be determined – but we already know that things will never quite be the same. Many years from now, we will reminisce about 2020 and the Year of Covid-19. No one who didn’t experience it will quite understand. Not that […]

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Spring Flowers in Song

 

Here are a few blooming ideas to start a soundtrack for the season. I invite you to share your own in the comments or even start your own flower patch with a particular musical genre. We’ll start off in the 19th century with Stephen Foster, “Ah! May the Red Rose Live Always!” Suzy Bogguss, a wonderful traditional country singer, offers this rendition:

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The daffodils of our garden have faded to shriveled remains, and the neglected tulip bulbs have managed to produce nothing more than haphazard leaves. Clusters of thick green shoots promise the appearance of daylilies in May, and the coral honeysuckle vines are showing the beginnings of buds. The delicate pink bleeding hearts are dangling in […]

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Group Writing April: Easter Flowers

 

Years ago, my daughter asked for us to join our parish’s Altar Rosary Society, which is a group of parishioners who clean the church, launder the altar linens, straighten up the pews and, at Easter and Christmas, we decorate the church. For Christmas, there are poinsettias and ropes of evergreen garlands. Usually for Easter, there are dozens of lilies and hyacinths and daffodils and other beautiful spring flowers to adorn the altar and the statues of Mary and the saints, filling the church with their heavenly smell.

Tomorrow, the day before Palm Sunday, is usually the day we get out our buckets and clean all the wood in the church, and give the whole building an extra-special cleaning for Easter. As everyone knows, Murphy’s Oil is the smell of “clean.”

Unexpected Disaster and Unexpected Triumph: Spring Storms and Flowering Futures

 

An important day in history will coincide with one of our darker days this month,* and President Trump should be ready to link the lessons of the past with our current condition. On April 11, 1970, Americans saw the increasingly mundane sight of yet another Apollo mission rocketing towards the Moon. There were no grand new tricks promised to amaze the global audience. Just two missions after “one giant leap for mankind,” Americans had a false sense of security about an extremely dangerous enterprise in the most unforgiving conditions. Then, on the third day of the Apollo 13 mission, we were given a giant bucket of ice water in the face: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” That was 50 years ago this month, and what an auspicious time to celebrate America!

President Trump’s team must seize the opportunity now, preparing a video presentation and live link-up of the surviving key players, to remind the nation, at our likely Chinese coronavirus nadir, that there was another very dark week in which all seemed lost but Americans refused to lose. Get on Jim Lovell, who said “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” and Gene Kranz, the NASA chief flight director on duty when the threat unfolded, whose autobiography is Failure Is Not An Option. Celebrate our ingenuity, our resolve, our resilience, and link it all with our current troubles and responses.

Link the disasters of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia. In each case, we were not expecting catastrophe. In each case, we mourned our losses, solved the problems, and advanced with greater safety preparedness. So too, we will now really learn from our response to the latest pandemic, because we know it will not be our last great challenge by a disease.

Member Post

 

Springwood Park in my hometown. It was not our largest park, nor was it conveniently located. Honestly, it wasn’t easy to get to for anyone except maybe those who lived on the same road; a road I recall flooding often. All that made the place a little exotic. It wasn’t the usual territory, not the […]

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