Friday, March 18, 2011

Warm days among the magnolias

I’m in the southeastern US his week, enjoying the warmth and hospitality of the “other” Low Country.  This seashore is rich with rivers, mud, and marshlands; barrier islands, beaches, and abundant birds and wildlife – I expect that the deltas of the grote rivieren were similar before the land was drained and made habitable by the Dutch.

The weather is picture-perfect, 75 deg F sunny days, cool nights, a bit of breeze, no humidity.  People are friendly everywhere; the regional food is excellent.  Since it’s off-season (pre-SpringBreak) bargains on lodging are everywhere so it’s possible to just hopscotch with the wind and whim day by day.

I attended university at Vanderbilt and became accustomed to springs’ arrival on March 1.  The sun would come out, the weather would warm, and the magnolias would bloom.  I never got used to losing that when I moved back north for grad school.  This week, it all came rushing back – there is no question that this is where I belong at winter’s end.

I did plant a magnolia in the back yard for my 40th birthday, and it bravely brings huge white flowers every April.  But it struggles with the winter and the lack of sunlight in the forests of Seattle.  In 17 years, branches have collapsed under the snow, and it’s branches have straggled trying to find their light.  Here, there are magnificent trees everywhere, and, while the blooms are dogwood and cherry at the moment, the sense is still of the seasons turning a page from winter.

With daily movements and full schedules, computer time has been (blissfully) scarce.  ‘lots of things that I want to catch up with though, spilling lines of car-jiggled text across my notebook for now.  And there’s news and progress (and one setback) to share, so I feel like I’m falling behind here.

But, for now, the evening light is still glowing through the Spanish moss and the music of frogs and crickets are filling the evening air.  There’s something about having the time and the inclination to just sit and soak in it.

There’s (still) something splendid about the antebellum Old South.

No comments: