Spring

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For the first time in over three years, a single flower bloomed on our hibiscus. I do not give up on plants. The poinsettia from Christmas is still vibrant on the kitchen table. The peace lily my mom carried on the train to Manhattan over a decade ago to congratulate me on my corner office with the big window looking out on 34th Street and 5th Ave is still with me, now divided into many pots in rooms throughout my house.

I don’t give up on plants, but I wondered if the hibiscus would ever bloom again. I’ve been in my own dormant phase, my writing not exactly suspended but slowed. At first it made me nervous. Then I decided that, after a year of daily writing here and elsewhere, it was okay, necessary even, to be quiet for awhile.

There have been all sorts of hang-ups that prevented me from the page–to say nothing of the scant slivers of time–among them the fear of being redundant. Have I just been repeating myself, the needle stuck, the record skipping? During this quiet time, as I’ve continued to read work by my favorite writers, in books and on blogs, I’ve noticed their individual patterns, designs born of repetitions that expand and grow. Like the stamen of a flower, like all patterns found in nature, we speak our geometry.

Already the hibiscus has curled into itself, the spent petals wrapped snugly around the stamen. There was but a moment capture the bloom.

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4 thoughts on “Spring”

  1. Oh, this is lovely. You have such a talent for capturing the quiet moments. You can write anything, of course, you know that’s my strong belief. But it’s very, very clear to me that you have the eye and head and heart of a very talented creative nonfiction writer. And we so need as many of you delightful people as we can find. You help the rest of us see more deeply into our own reality, you teach us how to see how something like a blooming flower is something else, and something else again, and then something else again, at the same time that you and we celebrate the bloom for bloom’s sake.

    And: I would love to have your talent for sticking with plants. Gardening is teaching me patience, but boy do I have such a very, very far way to go. I don’t give up on plants so much as I give up on myself and my relationship to the plants, but I will try to have a little more staying power now that I’ve read this….

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  2. “Like the stamen of a flower, like all patterns found in nature, we speak our geometry.”

    This is so beautiful, and so true. I’m often paralyzed by the same fear of redundancy, but we must press on, when we’re ready. I think it’s interesting to look at the things we circle in our writing, to see how those ideas mature and grow. I’ve missed you here, but I understand why you’ve been quiet. We need the fallow times, too!

    Like

  3. That flower is stunning! I’ve always wanted to grow hibiscus but I wouldn’t know where to start.

    I echo Tara’s comment — I miss seeing you in my feed reader, but after a full year of writing daily you’ve more than earned a break!

    Like

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