Friday, March 20, 2009

Here come the Lupines!

Today is the first day of Spring, and here in the Sur it is lovelier than ever. We've had our gentle and only slightly scary Spring rains (200,000+ acres of back country did not flood the valley or close the road) and even the mysterious Chantrelles made a comeback appearance, peeking out through the ash and leaves beneath the oak trees.

Now comes the time of the Lupine and the Poppies. Walking through a field of lupine flowers is divine: imagine Grandma canning grape jelly on a springtime afternoon in her farmhouse, a warm breeze wafting through the screen door, carrying the scent of grapes cooking in sugar. Like the peasants in Monty Python's Dennis Moore skit, we too could possibly enjoy a lupine sorbet. Something that smells so delicious seems like it would also taste good.

Smelling the warm earth and the sweetness of the small, ankle-level purple blooms smeared across the mountain, you feel Life coming up out of the Earth here like no where else I know.

We're now preparing for our annual Pagan Spring Festival, aka Easter. Several years ago I re-read Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant and became determined to share where we live with children. (Finding pretty eggs and chocolate bunnies in the green grass of Partington Ridge is an experience no child should miss.) Wilde tells us that Spring cannot really arrive without laughter and love filling our hearts. The metaphor for renewal and redemption is almost too much for me!

This year, the California poppies splash like gold dust (or saffron, as a friend says) across hilltop meadows, contrasting with soft purple carpets of lupines. Nature is the best designer, fiery golds and cool blues complementing each other against the mountains' bright green canvas. Everyone is talking about one special spot where the poppies really, well, POP.

As a young person, I remember learning that our state is the "golden state" which only makes sense, as anyone born in California will tell you. In Camp Fire Girls we learned that one should never, ever pluck the state flower. Here's a little poem from those days which I often think of at this time of year:

I will be the happiest person under the sun.
I will see a thousand flowers and not pick one!
Photos by Linda Sonrisa
Photo of Camille and the Wedding Tree by Toby Rowland-Jones


Steven Harper said...

Lovely... simply lovely...

brightsong said... to you from Camille

Lisa G. said...

We live in the very best place in the whole wide world.