It’s National Grammar Day. Proverbs.

tulip, bulbs, flowers, market, jason landry, photograph, proverbs

Jason Landry, Tulip Bulbs, Amsterdam, 2004

It’s National Grammar Day.  Today’s lesson: Proverbs.

‘Good Husbandry’ is listening to your wife when she tells you,
“Jason, I’m going to relax today.  Go for a run or something.”
“Yes dear.”

So during yesterday’s run, Mark was telling me that the tulip bulbs have started to break through the surface mulch in the small garden in front of his brownstone.
“That doesn’t surprise me.  I’ve noticed in the past few years that the proverb, ‘April Showers Bring May Flowers‘ isn’t really the case anymore.  The weird thing is, flowers have been blooming earlier in Boston and April hasn’t been our rainy month…it’s been May.”

“Environmentalists would have you thinking it has something to do with global warming”, says Mark. “The first thing you should check is when and where that statement was first introduced.  When I lived in Virginia, flowers would bloom sooner than in Boston due to it’s geographical distance from the equator.”
“Makes sense.  I’ll do some digging.”

In the mid-16th century, English poet and farmer Thomas Tusser wrote a book called A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry.  First published in 1557, the book included rhyming lyrical poems broken down by the months of the year.  In the April abstract, the famous lines were uttered:

Sweet April showers
do Spring May flowers.

The United Kingdom and the New England states do have similar climates and proximity to the equator.  So this proverb makes sense, however, I’m convinced that climate change has in fact disrupted the seasons.  I think I need to book a lunch with Al Gore.  He’d be able to expound on this topic.

From Within – A Poem about Creativity

From Within

Your experiences are analyzed and interpreted.
All your hopes and fears are realized.
Perceptions are made.
Cold.

A breath of air leaves the body.
A bead of sweat penetrates the skin.
A life is born.
Warmth.

Cultural,
Boundaries,
Surroundings.
Some of your influences will come from home.

But only from within, does your truest creativity blossom.

Treetops and Stars

stephen dirado, photographer, stars, photograph

Celestial photograph by Stephen DiRado.

Treetops and Stars

As a young boy growing up in New Hampshire
I used to go to bed at night
listening to the peeping of the aquatic life in the pond.
The moonlight painted the treetops
and the stars were always visible and bright.
The warm summer air would whistle through my window screen
and an occasional mosquito would find its way in.
The air was damp and dew dripped
from the needles of the nearby white pine and spruce.
It was in this coastal community
where I began to find my way.

As I grew older
I left my boyhood home and moved south to Massachusetts.
Things were a little different than I was used to.
The peeping at night was replaced
by fire truck sirens, cars horns and choppers overhead.
My treetops and stars were replaced
by the twinkling lights illuminating the skyscrapers
built with brick and beams, and the constant stream of jets
following a similar flight path into Logan.

I think back to the winter months
when the days were shorter and the air was cold and raw.
The leaves were off the trees,
and the wind just whipped through
and the marshes had a coating of ice
that rose and fell with the tides.
The noise was minimal except for the distant wind chimes
that echoed my favorite tune.

Two Tramps In Mudtime

One of my graduate school mentors used to recite a passage from Robert Frost’s Two Tramps in Mudtime.  I heard him say it so many times in conversations to his students and quoting it during his lectures that I began to memorize it.  Robert Frost passed away in Boston, MA 50 years ago to the day. Here is the last stanza of that poem.  It sums up much of what I’m about.

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.