Monday’s Meander: Lilacs, Rhoddies and More at the Farm

I decided I must give you flowers, lilacs, specifically, but also rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, peonies, irises, viburnum, wisteria and more…I am not a current gardener–some years have passed since we had a nice plot of land to grow much. But I appreciate all green growing things, flowers especially, now more than ever. My balcony is loading up with more potted flowers each week. And junco pair already took over my hanging fuchsia plant for nesting activity…

But today I’m at a favorite spring destination: Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland, Washington. I post pictures every now and then but not last year. It was a pleasure to be able to re-visit at last. We may have been a bit early to take in all the bloomed varieties but it was worth the visit.

The farm is located on 4 acres of land, purchased in 1877 by it’s namesake’s parents. Huldas work with her lilacs expanded in 1905, and she added 14 new varieties. After she died, the Hulda Klager Lilac Society bought and maintained the gardens. The home and potting shed were refurbished. No tours of the humble but lovely house due to the pandemic, but I have often enjoyed a walk-through. Altogether a stop in WA. we have to make each year when we can.

I hope you also find the tour lovely and tranquil.

Please click through the slideshow to finish.

(An empty chair is for everyone loved and lost. Love never ends.)

Monday’s Meander: More Peaceable Estate Amble (Pt. 2)

I about skipped posting again today, then considered more colorful, unique places we have been. Still, it seemed reasonable to continue with last week’s meander. It was a satisfying outing despite variable light and chilliness. And the funeral is over for our granddaughter. Marc and I go forward a bit more each day, with the telltale heaviness of sorrow. We hiked-at a snail’s pace-over the week-end, visited at a coffee shop outside with family, played with twin toddler granddaughters at a river park. There are yet blessings noted in the midst of the wrenching away of Krystal from our family. (I suspect she’d demand no more drama or long interruptions; she was tough, frank–and vivacious, bright and adventurous. She would move on, too–and it seems as if she has. I no longer feel her slipping about at odd hours, in various places. I hope that doesn’t unnerve too much–it is a familiar experience for me when people pass on.)

But: our walks… They go a long way toward making life more orderly, inspiring, instructive and sweet. And keep the blood flowing. And keep body, mind and spirit in much better balance.

Though the Jenkins Estate buildings were closed due to the pandemic, it was pleasing to explore what we could. The main house architecture seems quintessential Pacific Northwestern, unassuming with simple lines, sturdy and well designed, a lodge-like feel to it–and blends with nature’s palette. My kind of style. It certainly would have been an impressive home and acreage in 1912. Several outbuildings were homey and well built. It is a loss that so many Dutch elms have gone, as noted below, but there are plenty of other NW trees.

We wound out way around the immediate landscapes, enjoyed rhododendrons, azaleas, and other assorted flowers here and there. There were not as many blooms as expected but spring has been fitful, and not enough rain for April/May yet–a surprise in Oregon.

From here, we mosied over to the Gate House of the estate, a lovely place. Please click to view the slideshow.

Though grief stills everything inside and out, it also leaves room for beauty that remains of our earth– and of those we have loved and lost to a far greater mystery than we comprehend.

Blessings on you all.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Truest of Things

These may be the truest of life,

to eat marionberries or Cox’s Orange Pippins

on a day that glimmers with laughter spilled

and simple promises made and kept

or to sit cross legged under pine and cedar,

attend to doings of blue jay and hawk, and

sniff wind’s foretelling of rain and smoke.

Or to gather up wiggling twin beings,

my arms stretched to bundle affection or need,

my heart breaking and mending with

a certain sort of love’s lightning strikes.

This, that, these–they command an entire universe.

They all know and sow certain secrets.

Even the babies’ eyes, how they find

the might of smallest, momentary things,

and deep-see even me, and oh how we

welcome each other, no reservations.

All instructs me to care more, more:

to savor abundance of apple and berry;

to draw close to the fire of forest gifts;

to hear winged things telegraph wisdom;

to find more when there may seem less,

to discover wee hands tender and sure,

fragrant with newness, nestled in mine.

Friday’s Pick/Poem: Cricket Wisdom

The group commences to sing.

Sun hides, air thins with cooling,

lean shadows go grey to black-violet.

Stage is set; I am the audience.

Their stridulation uncaps peace,

an elixir of sudden happiness,

and they are busy romancing.

How hard is the work of seeking mates,

the mute females invisible to me yet ready?

Love is not the point or the promise

not the favor or reward.

Songs rise and pause, stake out the night

with aggressive beauty, concoct a spell

I do not care to break.

Will the females not dare speak, are they

breathless with knowledge and mystery?

Heat lingers just beyond my skin,

music weaves among thickets,

stars beam with power and water stills.

Stolen songs carry my body, soul;

eyelids close for a flash of dream.

Love has meant so little, so much.

How simple to sing for coupling and

fear no–hold no–other expectations.

The crickets pulse with late summer, feel

my footsteps as I seek them out–

for good fortune yes, that, too–

and they fall silent as my ears shyly

wait for the next song to bring me

more gifts of this luxuriant night.

A remembrance of things.

A wholeness of life being lived.

Friday’s Quick Pick: A Lark in the Park

 

And so after losses we yet manage–or eventually will–to get up, engage in routines and attend to obligations. And search for glimmers of valuable experience to be absorbed and offered to others. They are everywhere for me; I cannot get enough of life despite its rawness and edges and sudden dismay. Can you, even when your sleep is restless or your head feels crammed with trials? Our bodies, minds and the breadth and depth of our spirits seek more chances to be delighted, moved, changed. And we can do that in healthy and easy ways. A comfortable meander can engage the brain in greater well being; why do we ever want to avoid that? A heart pumping power walk can really stir things up.

Why not go to a park this week-end and remember simpler things? Sit and watch all the humans who persist in enabling peace and fun and respect and care, one to another. It always makes a difference. Here are a few fleeting moments that recently spoke to me. Invite your moments  to shimmer more, too. Laugh at the foolishness and yourself. Bring to the fore the pristine clarity of wonder. Breathe intentionally. Let a tiny happiness bloom into something bigger and share it–then take it home with you.

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