“In Perpetual Spring”

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.”  ~Hanna Rion

Spring reminds us that we humans were not designed to hunker down in front of a computer monitor for days on end. At some point, we must wake up and engage all of our senses. We need to feel the sun on our backs and to inhale the scents of plants and rich earth.

My own garden has always been a place of healing and renewal. I’m deeply nourished by kneeling in the grass, working the soil, and tending new growth. By the the end of April, I can hardly wait to dig in — and my heart pumps peanut butter every time I drive past a local garden center or nursery. It’s all I can do to refrain from planting too early.

I’m really looking forward to expanding the herb garden outside our back door when the real danger of frost is past. In the meantime, I’m soaking up these gorgeous lines of Amy Gerstler’s, below. — CL

In Perpetual Spring
by Amy Gerstler

Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies
and trip over the roots
of a sweet gum tree,
in search of medieval
plants whose leaves,
when they drop off
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal
human desire for peace
with every other species
wells up in you. The lion
and the lamb cuddling up.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt
there is a leaf to cure it.

–Reprinted from Bitter Angel, by Amy Gerstler; New York: North Point Press; 1990.–

— Garden photo by Cindy La Ferle —


BLOG TOUR ALERT: If you missed a chance to win a free copy of my book, Writing Home, on other tour stops, here’s another. Click here to read Angie Muresan’s review and to participate in her  giveaway this week. I’ve always enjoyed Angie’s view on life — and I think you will too.


11 thoughts on ““In Perpetual Spring”

  1. The beautiful weather also tempts me to plant… even when I know it is too early here in Michigan.

    However, I transplanted my shamrocks (I treat myself every March to two pots) to their patio containers last week. Of course, I have had to cover them up the last several nights, but this morning they are happy to see the sunshine!

  2. Elizabeth … your life in England is a dream to me. Just now, I’m finishing a novel about Virginia Woolf and Vita’s White Garden at Sissinghurst. Brings back memories of a visit to London 3 yrs ago. I did see Cornwall — and envy your living there!

  3. I seriously love this poem. Thank you again. And yet again, Cindy.
    I owe you a big dirt under the nails fresh air smelling hair all askew hug.

    I’m cutting way back on my little Green Acres gig, and have been mostly staring at my home space. Small as it is with the pool . But I’m ready to make some changes and make some life.

  4. I’m looking forward to your spring pictures too. You have bulbs and bloomers we only dream about in the arid Texas Hill Country.

    What herbs are in your garden and what are you putting in?

  5. Kathleen,
    Thank you! I’ve had the usual suspects in my herb garden — oregano, sage, thyme, tarragon. I add basil when it’s warm enough, and dill, but want to try some more exotic plants. I had a couple of different kinds of lavender, but lost them last year… so I will try again. Also need to get some chives and garlic … and some arugula. I would love to have an even better salad garden this year!

  6. You are SO SO right. I’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible and really loving it. But today, here in Ashland, it’s been raining cats and dogs (“Those April showers…”) Still, we went for a 2.6 mile walk to the Co-op, with umbrellas in hand.

  7. Cindy, I have never had a real passion for gardening, but I thoroughly enjoy the beauty of gardens created by others. As I walked on campus at OU today, I was struck by this gorgeous spring day – the delicate scent of the flowering trees around our building, that unique breath of spring in the air. We cannot be reminded too often to take time for appreciation – and, of course, gratitude. 🙂

  8. It has been a gorgeous spring! We went away for one week and came back to flowering crabapples and creeping phlox,primroses and azaleas – a feast for the eyes and soul indeed. Wonderful poem Cindy.

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