Friday, May 15, 2009

Juice and Joy

"Nothing is so beautiful as spring--
       When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

. . .  What is all this juice and all this joy?"
--Gerard Manley Hopkins

It's hard to improve on Hopkins at a time like this, and what follows in not an attempt to improve, only to add my two cents.

Having driven from spring to summer and back again last week, I am glad not to have missed the slow (yet still so fast!) unfurling of spring in Maine. There's nothing quite like the lacey stage, followed by the frothy and frilly stage, the miniature leaves in all sorts of colors (none really green green) ornamenting branches still visible like the lines of lead in a stained glass window, providing both structure and pattern. While the leaves are still small, sky color and cloud color show through too.

In Washington the greens were fewer and of a narrower range of hue and shade. Driving through Connecticut and Massachusetts, I noticed all the more how many different shades and tints and tones make up a spring landscape--yellow-greens, yellow-green tending toward ochre, yellow green tending toward rose and rust and peach, lime, mango. . . you get the idea!

Meanwhile the weeds indeed are long and lovely and lush. Some days I'm happy just to watch them grow.

No comments: