Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

April Morning: Fresh and Clear

I spent most of today outdoors—weeding, transplanting, spreading mulch, walking the farm with Maggie, grooming the mares, cleaning the outdoor furniture, pruning dead limbs from the redbud tree, and looking at things in bloom. I took a few pictures early this morning. Then I got too busy to take pictures.

In the fresh and clear morning sun, the driveway looked as if it had been strewn with gold coins—dandelions!

I don't understand why some people don't like dandelions. They're beautiful. And they're also tasty in a salad.

Further up the driveway, Dylan was so happy to be outdoors in the morning sun that he rolled and rolled.

The slips from Granny Sallie's lilacs that I transplanted last week are still alive. Maybe by next year they'll bloom. The original bush has the real smell of lilac—not like the hybrid lilac-wannbes.

My flowerbeds are starting to look like real flowerbeds.

Today was a perfect day to be outdoors—clear, sunny, warm (temperature in the 70s!). Almost two hundred years ago, the poet William Wordsworth noticed an April morning like today.

It Was an April Morning: Fresh and Clear
by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

It was an April morning: fresh and clear
The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
Ran with a young man's speed; and yet the voice
Of waters which the winter had supplied
Was softened down into a vernal tone.
The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
And hopes and wishes, from all living things
Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
The steps of June; as if their various hues
Were only hindrances that stood between
Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
Such an entire contentment in the air
That every naked ash, and tardy tree
Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance
With which it looked on this delightful day
Were native to the summer.--Up the brook
I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
Alive to all things and forgetting all.
At length I to a sudden turning came
In this continuous glen, where down a rock
The Stream, so ardent in its course before,
Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all
Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice
Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb,
The shepherd's dog, the linnet and the thrush
Vied with this waterfall, and made a song,
Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth
Or like some natural produce of the air,
That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here;
But 'twas the foliage of the rocks--the birch,
The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn,
With hanging islands of resplendent furze:
And, on a summit, distant a short space,
By any who should look beyond the dell,
A single mountain-cottage might be seen.
I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said,
"Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook,
My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee."
—Soon did the spot become my other home,
My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.
And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,
To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
Years after we are gone and in our graves,
When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
May call it by the name of EMMA'S DELL.

Today I walked by the creek with my "shepherd's dog"—Maggie the border collie. And today "I gazed and gazed."

I could not look at everything enough.

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Blogger Amy Hanek said...

I have never tried dandelions on my salad, but they ARE pretty - I agree.

Emma (my daughter) will have to read this poem. She may be old enough to appreciate it.

4:16 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Looks like your Thursday was a most excellent day, too! I love dandelions and always have, except for when they grow around the bottom of my roses.

9:41 AM  

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