Musings from the Hill, April 16, 2015
It is said, “March winds and April showers bring forth sweet May flowers.” March winds hopefully have temporarily ceased, instead we received a final gift of much needed April showers. A blessing for farmers and helpful to alleviate dangerous fires destroying grass lands, crops and homes.
Daffy-down-dilly has come to town in her green petticoats and golden crown. Spring truly has arrived, as has my indispensable handy man, Mike Davis, who kindly brought my porch chairs and a bouquet of daffodils from my hilltop abode. Joan Olmstead informed me that spring peepers in her small farm pond are in full voice. Thus spring has proclaimed “Truly I have sprung!”
According to the national weather and atmosphere pundits, last winter was the warmest winter on record. Many in the nation endured the most snow ever recorded. We hope April has settled down and no surprises are in store for us.
My house on the hill is golden with dozens of bright yellow forsythia bushes in full bloom. I started them by bending a branch, loosening the soil a bit and putting a rock on top to hold the branch in place. If kept watered regularly, invariably they will quickly root. I have acquired many different shrubs using this method. I believe forsythia is almost impossible to kill, but various tenants have managed to do this. I am going to try to re-start those ruined along my back fence line. A dog run caused their demise. A former tenant once made this lot (small as it is) a show place. People often stopped to admire the flowers.
“The year's at the spring;
and day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
the hillside's dew-pearled;
the lark's on the wing;
the snail's on the thorn”
— Robert Browning.
What’s wrong with the world? Sunday mornings usually I listen to the Farm Report and world news. A rocky way to begin my day. Many countries are at odds with one another. I suggest we stay out of their problems. We have plenty of our own. Our infrastructure is rapidly falling apart. When a major bridge falls into the Mississippi River it is time to wake up and smell the roses. Our railroads are falling apart and also numerous overpasses. California is facing a severe drought. This will seriously affect crop production. Will we have to plant victory gardens as we did in World War II? According to the experts on climate change, we will have to change our ways of facing life as we have known it. Years ago I remember the smoky skies and soot-filled windows of my aunt’s apartment in Pittsburgh, Pa., when coal dust filled the sky. Streets in London were dark at noon. We will have to employ severe measures to clear the atmosphere of pollutants. The Arctic ice cap is the thinnest ever measured. Controversial “fracking” now enters the picture.
“With purposeful steps I strode, seeking solace on my hill, Alone in my abode. The rapture fills me still. The sky above cerulean blue, the hawks sailed overhead. Around me rang ethereal chimes. The breeze was soft, not dread. Soothed with a gentle hand — nature’s wondrous healing touch! A tonic to a grateful land, To me it matters much! From the hedge row rang “what cheer! Blithely the birds did sing. Her soft step touched lightly here. All around me it was Spring!” jhj
Without computer help from many and thanks to Claudia in the Baldwin Public Library for the spelling of “cerulean” and for Dee from Baker University who comes to my home on her lunch hour to pick up my column, I am able to continue to write. I would really like to know if I am the oldest and also the longest writing columnist in Kansas — or maybe in the USA? Any help in this endeavor would be truly appreciated. The electronic age sometimes makes me feel as if I have suddenly fallen into an unknown world. I can remember running out to see my first airplane. My father bought our first radio, which had two sets of ear phones. There were three children—this caused problems. Enjoy spring.