Awake, thou wintry earth –
fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth –
your ancient gladness!
Leaf by leaf, bud by bud, and blossom by blossom the spring of the year advances. On warmish days, earth casts off its wintry gloom, and breezes broadcast sweetly-scented aromas. The first butterflies then dare to soar and the hungry bees hum amid the glad laughter issuing forth from flowering bulbs and trees. As a result the year’s initial poetry of rebirth is penned by the pollinating, aerial whirring of dainty wings. In the meantime as I hurry about trying to taking photos of the blossoming narratives and their paramours, I often find myself asking the same question Walt Whitman once did. “Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?” The answer I’ve decided is that the arms of trees reach towards the heavens to gather sacred messages meant to draw mankind near to “the living Word of God in nature” as well as what is read in Scripture.
In our area the first verses of “tree” poetry come from Saucer Magnolias. Their big, goblet-shaped flowers pen exquisite couplets in pink and white. Soon to follow are the brilliant white blossoms of Star Magnolias. Though not quite enough lines to form a fourteen-lined sonnet, their twelve exquisite, “petal-poesy” lines form rhyming schemes as lovely as any Shakespearean sonnet. Next and in perfect rhyming sequences come the double samaras. Samaras, the scarlet, dual winged fruits of the Red Maple, look like long, slender fairy wings as they dance choric rhymes writ by the winds. Then come the Eastern Redbuds and Bradford Pears that compose stunning free-verse stanzas in purple and white, each resplendent branch, a psalm written in praise of its Maker. For a pollinator now there’s no quandary about where sweet nectaries are to be found for stanza after stanza they and I are lead in springtime to earth’s most festive and delicious banquets.
He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love. ~Song of Songs 2:4