Friday’s Photos: Under a Brief Pretense of Spring

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson copyright 2019

We are currently under a winter storm warning in Portland. I await enchanting first flakes– very few of which we have had so far this year. Perhaps it seems much ado about nothing for someone who grew up with four foot snow drifts to rollick about in, to play the brave explorer with three layers of clothing– but we will see. I know may parts of the USA have suffered very recently the bitter cold and dangerous snowfall.

In the meantime, enjoy a few photos that not long ago indicated a different change of temperature–as it often does here this time of year. I will have patience–both for a velvety swath of snow and for a flourishing of flowers.

A park where we will soon be walking more after our March move

And there have been hints of an unfolding of tender jewels of springy blossoms amid more hearty wintery ones…

Marc and I were going to the beach for a mini break before we move– but nature changed our plans. We are now immersed in the many and sometimes arduous tasks that go along with packing and preparing to leave one place for another–but there are hot teas and tasty treats to keep us going.

Daphne–what a fragrance!

Wherever you are, may your week-end bring safety and satisfying–even happy–moments!

Friday’s Quick Passing Fancy/Photos: Late Summer Beauties

All photographs by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Far-ranging wildfires’ smoke has begun to clear at last so I spent an hour power walking. There was even a dab of rain that left its sheen for a bit. What a pleasure to get out again; this is a neighborhood of bounties. Typically I photograph lush gardens which flourish alongside varied, often historically significant homes. There are always surprises to admire. Some blooms have begun to fade as summer transitions slowly into the next season but there was still plenty upon which to feast eyes and spirit.

Come along on my cheery walk!

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Friday’s Quick Pick/Photos & Poem: Advance, Retreat, Reveal

Early Spring signs 016

Like a woman, spring offers glimpses
of secrets with calculated abandon,
loveliness just a hint until ready,
then as you move in to discover
the mysteries there is more waiting,
a few required shifts, a pause unexpected,
one last flourish before its unveiling.

Treat even these moments as small gifts,
for such restraint of exemplary beauty
brings sweet virtues to finest completion.

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Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Summer Comes

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Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

This time is slight, a guest
appearance between rains,
and so we gorge on light
and encores of color,
sounds and smells pillowing air.
Nothing is luxurious as this
wistful-spring-to-brazen-summer
blue flung far and wide, new
raiment donned for July.

Even trees lift up, limbs swaying
into washes of summer’s breath.
Birds practice acrobatics
inside blazing ultramarine.
Bear and wolf speak of bounty
from mountain to river valley,
noses caught in wind’s netting.

I cover myself in morning,
a cape that clings to my shoulders
undoing winter’s penchant for night.
Feet break free to slide, tap, patter;
hands seek tenderness of flowers
whose blossoms share glimpses of
nectar and mystique, perfumes of God.

July comes with a roar, laugh, leap,
a traveler emerging from coils
of cold and wet, then uncertain June,
from mosaics of silence, shifting shadow.
It unveils such wonders that even
hidebound hearts pause to soften
in this easy, ripening blush of summer.

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Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Efficacy of Flowers

Flowers!! 030
All photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2017

The efficacy of flowers
is an assurance and a lesson
that living things have purpose
and meaning by mere existence.
How much mastery a seed or bulb
contains before it settles deep
into snug pockets of soil.
It’s story is complete if secret,
the conclusion well foregone.

Does the flower ever know its fate?
Does it see its future coming,
how it will inch its way through
sprawling, humid earth with
one goal only–leaf, stem, bud
to light, water from sky,
tendril roots to deeper, then
a grand unfurling amid
breezes that will carry
its scent and seeds afar?

It comes into itself with ease, on
unhurried schedule, with grace that
adorns its fullness like afterthought.
Its unfolding is a soft dazzle,
a rapture of complexity–
such execution of design,
matchless, refined, a bit shy yet
a beacon for insect lives and me.

Its victory of beauty is found
with nose, eyes and fingertips,
carefully despite its strength,
and ingenuity–did it not push
its way up through rock, worms,
creepers and gnawers, gnarly roots,
more dirt to emerge intact?

But I wonder if it knows its splendor
is short lived, its life tarrying
briefly and then an exit,
its farewell often missed by others.
And even then noted only as
a humble passing, its elegance
finally fading as it returns
to welcoming, familiar earth.

Flower, I will keep such knowledge close:
that completion lives within me, and
life can bloom divine despite
complications or twists of ego
(no flower carries our burdens)
that scheme to make beingness harder.
I, too, have all required to survive,
arrive at an apex as intended.
And yet before I know it will let go
of verve, of tenderest or brutal things,
the salve of love; let my living

transform through ending as all must,
and move on then, and so be done.