Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First Growth

I photographed first growth this morning with Lola-the-Poodle.  The daylily, MING PORCELAIN,  looking clean, no burn, is up an inch.  DIVA ASSOLUTA, some of it on the edge of the clump, is up two inches.  David Hall's oldie, GUSTO, is up 3 or 4 inches.  BARBARA MITCHELL and most others are not up at all, saying "Brrrrrr!"  I photographed orange-red Witch Hazel this morning, too.  I'm thinking about my new daylily show for clubs and know I want to begin with the awakening garden, when crocuses alert us to the renewal that's coming as soon as the daffodils push farther up.  Daylily shows are not actually about daylilies, though they may look like it.  They are about hope, risk, vision, the journey to clearer sight, the process of learning to keep friends.  Daylily shows are about gardeners.  Bless gardeners.  Curses on thieves and scammers, who are thieves.  Flay them first, then curse them.

So, lately, a fog has begun to lift, one I didn't know was there.  I know it by its lifting.  I am shedding books and vinyl records.  This week I'm taking 10 boxes of sheet music and scores to the university where San had the best decade of her career, also a box of CDs for the Vocal Literature class and six boxes of books about music from our joint professorial library.  I'm staging surplus file cabinets and small furniture items in the garage for the big day in April when scavengers troll the streets of my neighborhood for the bulky items we place at the curb for pick-up.  We're limited to five items per household, but we can be confident about placing many more than that number out on the curb.

Out! Out! Out!  San and I were complementary opposites.  She could not throw anything away except newspapers and junk mail other than retail catalogues.  I am a purger in need of a measure of restraint.  Rather than build more and more bookcases, I donate books I no longer need to reassure myself that I exist and that I have good taste.  I almost never reread a book, so why do I store read books on wooden shelves?  I think they constitute an environment, one of metaphorical mirrors (I have thought from time to time).

Soon purchased daylilies will begin to arrive and it will begin again.  I just printed Avery clear labels to put on EON plates for the seedling crop that will go into ground in May.

Last night while waiting for water to boil I leafed through the New Yorker magazine and came across a feature about Natalie Dessay, a soprano sensation I haven't heard about until last night.  I finished the article over breakfast and saw where she's taking on the role of Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata at the Santa Fe Opera this summer.  Eureka!  Kathy's birthday is in July.  I got on line and set up a birthday present a week early.  We're going to Santa Fe to see La Traviata and to sightsee for a couple of days the week after the Region 11 daylily meeting in Manhattan (not New York, but Kansas).  San daydreamed about us retiring to Santa Fe, a dream of a place in her opinion.  I didn't want to retire there, because of daylilies.  Arid air, water restrictions.

We were married there on Garcia Street in a friend's back yard almost 32 years before San died last June.  I lived there from 1972 to 1977 and I'll tell you, it is less of a dream to live there on a salary that's not enough, in a job you know you'll have to leave when it comes time for a tenure review.  Sometimes the sense of magic about a place depends pretty much on whether things are going well.  They were going well for San and me that summer, when she got up all the courage in the world and said, as we drove downtown a week before returning to Vermont, where I would be her sub while she went to France to study again for a month, "why don't we get married?"  Since that happy conclusion to our rekindled romance, Santa Fe has been extra-special to us and to me, and now it is time to plan to bring Kathy into the sense of special places, as she will for me when we go to her family reunion in southern California in August.

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