The Opening of Tight Buds

This morning I look in the mirror as I brush my hair. It has grown long these past three years. I twist it high on my head. It looks odd to me, this ballerina bun I haven’t worn since high school. The unframed face, the knot of hair visible only when I turn my head.

At the grocery store, I buy yogurt, granola bars, and a small pot of daffodils.

At home, I drink Irish breakfast tea and read last Sunday’s New York Times.

The moss of the daffodils is still moist. Four or five of the flowers are in full bloom. Half a dozen are still tight buds.

One flower is just opening.

Port de Bras

Back from a week in DC, where there is still a nip in the air, I am driving down a main thoroughfare when I notice a cluster of blue bonnets. They are huddled at the base of a street light as if it were only within the amber of its light that they felt safe enough to bloom.

The weather here has turned warm. I sweep the house clean and leave the doors open for the fresh air, it too, to sweep out the rooms.

I deadhead the rose bush in my front yard, bringing inside the one bloom remaining. I clip a sprig of lavender; several small flowers cling to the curves of the stem.

I use a small black vase. I prop the deep pink rose into one arm of the lavender. The other arm reaches down toward the dining room table, changing its mind at the last minute to curve inward, toward the belly of the vase.

At its tip, several small flowers curve out and away, like the arm of a ballerina.


Earlier this week, as I was driving son the younger to school, I passed a bank of Texas blue bonnets. Sure sign of early spring. Their bright blue the color of the sky in deep June.

I spent that day at the hospital, working with breast cancer patients on “self-portraits,” humorous images made up of arms, eyes, and lips cut from magazine ads. Bodies are diet coke cans, hand lotion bottles, a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie. One woman uses a squash cut length-wise and pastes on its end so the seeds cluster in the “belly.” A sign of fertile creativity, I tell her.

At the end of the day, one of my small dancers hands me a fistful of wildflowers. Tiny white trumpets with stems like chives. Their green fades into the color of mushrooms where they have been separated from the earth.

At home, I fill a vase salvaged from an abandoned house. Kitschy gold, with a bulbous bottom and an opening so slender my few flowers just barely fit. I place it in my bedroom.

Th day has both begun and ended with flowers. Wildflowers. Fragile, yet resilient. Returning, unbidden, year after year.

The Hawthorn Beside My Doorway Blooms

The air is beginning to smell of spring. The buds come slowly at first, shy, like a young girl at her first day of dance class. Then with a rush of enthusiasm trees burst forth with pink, lavender, and green.

The hawthorn beside my doorway has small white flowers with a dark pink center.

They smell of my grandmother’s face powder.