Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Green Grass

We are in the fragile and beautiful moments of false spring. The plum trees are open, chalk white and tender, dropping petals on the long green grass. Though the mornings bring frost they also bring daffodils. Hail will come, and snow, before April, but for now the air is sweet.

So walking Champ the pitbull, whose advent in my life after his encounter with a hit and run truck down the road a bit was 4 years ago, this rescue of a night, I was thinking of the grass.
I have loved flowers all my life, and routinely stop to talk with my favorite trees, laying a hand tenderly on a branch, staring up into the dizzying sky. But I think it has always been the grass I have loved most, the lawns of childhood, the slopes near the Japanese woodlands down which I tumbled, over and over and over again with my brother in the early summers, the watered desert lawns, a dozen humble corners and vacant lots.

When I was a sentimental and dramatic teen I wrote a poem in which the sun was a dandelion and somehow the grass was the pelt of a green tiger. Yes, I mixed my metaphors in those days, fairly badly. But the grass does seem to me to be part of some great beast, some supportive companion.

So when last I longed to die, it was to the grass I went, and in the April sunlight lay full length in my meadow, and cried that I was tired, and my child was so ill, and I just wanted to enter that green light and be still.

And when I was much in love, my heated blood pounding, my loves and I did in the happier springtimes go to the wilderness, and to the meadows. When my firstborn was conceived my blue shirt was turned green with smudges of the wild grass from the slopes near the sea.

It has always been kind, and welcoming, the green grass. Whistles for my childhood hands, source of daisy chains and clover, quietly there, though I pull it from around the roses, walk over it, ignore it.

Sure, Walt Whitman was here far before me, and was it Julian of Norwich who saw all the divine in a hazel nut? I think so. But in the days of false spring the grass calls me home to my heart, comforts me when the world seems raw, connects me through all the days of my life, and the days of lives before my own.

Quietly. It is enough.

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Blogger am said...

Thank you so much for this eloquent vision of gratitude. I love hearing about the dandelion sun and green tiger lawn. There is a fine poem by Denise Levertov about Julian of Norwich. Have you found it, too?

I hear Van Morrison singing about the green grass in "Brown-eyed Girl."

4:46 AM, March 03, 2008  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

And what a connection it is. Appreciation of the simplest things is an ability not posessed by many.

6:56 PM, March 09, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

Walt greeted you before he left...

Green is much to me, but I am sadly allergic to it and puff up and turn to rose. Afterward, I am a globe covered with new continents of rose. Weeks later: still itchy.

8:44 AM, March 10, 2008  
Blogger David said...

Here in Indianapolis, it is still a bit early for spring, but the first signs are showing. The daffodils are just beginning to show their little green leaf heads. None of the trees have any leaves yet, but in a few weeks they should begin to bloom. We still have a bit of snow on the ground from the edge of the Midwest blizzard. We only got about two inches, but parts of Ohio got two feet!

The grass here is nice in the winter, as it stays green all winter long. It is a small comforting sign of life through the long cold bleakness. I played in a lot of grass too as a child. I used to love the smell of a freshly cut lawn. :)

10:32 AM, March 11, 2008  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...


9:39 AM, March 12, 2008  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

hope all is well (and springlike, too.)

6:35 AM, March 26, 2008  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

Green of the grass is unique & relaxes my nerves not like anything next to it.

How is life? doing fine?

4:53 AM, March 29, 2008  

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