Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging — Rick Moran @ 9:24 am

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The Bradford Pear Tree. We have one in our yard that looks just like this today.

A Prayer in Spring

Robert Frost (1915)

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

If you came looking for something to read about politics, perhaps this afternoon. For the moment, the temperature is soaring into the upper 70’s today, the sun is out, the air is unbelievably fresh and vital - almost drug-like in its effect on my body and soul.

Winter’s death grip on our hearts is lessening. Not quite letting go, mind you. This, after all, is the Midwest. And we here in the heartland know that before the old bugger lies down and sleeps for a while, Old Man Winter has a few blasts left in him. What we’ve been experiencing yesterday and today are Sister Springtime’s annual attempt to seduce the dirty old guy , distracting him long enough so that a few breath’s from her sweet scented lungs escape the Ogre’s clutches and waft gently across the landscape transforming man, beast, and bud.

You don’t breathe any more deeply all year than on that first day when the sun actually warms your face and the fresh smell of renewal is on the wind. A hint of Jasmine. A suggestion of sweet honeysuckle. Everything is brighter. Colors are cartoonish, so garish they are. Reds are redder. Greens are impossible, it being so long since you’ve seen the color out of doors. Even the earth colors brown and sienna become more stark thus offering a contrast to the rest. After months of depressing cold and darkness, the world in front of you explodes in light and warmth.

But it’s what happens inside of you that makes spring so very special. The older I get, the more this change of season is meaningful for me. The longer I live, the more I hate the winter - and look forward to this first day of joy and rebirth. During the winter, I have a tendency to face my own mortality - an Irish fatalism handed down by my ancestors. All is forgotten come spring.

Come spring, the world fills up with joyous sounds and sights. A ball hitting a bat. A dog barking madly as he races around the park. Fish leaping out of the water. And the birds. Oh how my mother loved the birds in springtime, singing their songs of love, building their nests hoping to mate. Remembering is also part of the seasonal change, calling forth the spirits of the past to unite with anticipation of the future until the seamless whole of your life now and beyond tomorrow fills you up with feeling and a great gratitude to be alive.

Politics? It can wait. For now, breathe. And simply be.


  1. Well said. Here in DC, Weather was perfect and the cherry trees have a hint of pink as the cherry blossom buds are beginning to burst open. Spent the day, in a hammock, with a beer and a very good book. All was right in the world until my Bulldog decided he wanted to spend time in the hammock as well.

    Comment by Hector — 3/26/2007 @ 10:02 am

  2. I live in Maryland, and as much as I despise winter, I have no desire to move south. I know I would miss the sweet expectations of spring. I love the change of seasons. As special as the sights, sounds and scents of spring are, fall’s are just as wonderful!

    Yesterday, we did some yard work and then I sat out on the deck and read a book savoring every minute of the light and warmth of the sun on my face. Praise God! It was awesome!

    Comment by bubbaj — 3/26/2007 @ 1:54 pm

  3. I love this post. It called to mind the philosophy of Jens Jenson, the renowned landscape architect of the heartland:

    “Everywhere he championed his core conviction: people must have some contact with the ‘living green’ — flowers and plants native to their home. To Jensen, landscape architecture was not just a profession, nor was the use of native plants just one style among many — they expressed his near-mystical belief in the renewing and civilizing powers of nature. He was a reformer with his hands on a spade and his head in the clouds.”

    Henry Thoreau said best:

    The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.

    Comment by Sissy Willis — 3/27/2007 @ 6:16 am

  4. In March of 2000 I was living in Durham NC, there were two snowstorms that dumped 12 inches of snow each. The bradford pears were blooming, just like in your picture. Every bradford pear in the Raleigh/Durham area was destroyed due to the massive snowfall. the vast majority were split down the trunk, like a banana peel. Other species of trees were damaged as well, but the devastation to the bradfords was astounding. The structure of the tree seemed to be perfectly designed to hold on to the snow until the trunk failed.

    Comment by JT — 3/27/2007 @ 12:26 pm

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