Edna St. Vincent Millay must have been sitting in this very chair when she wrote, "April comes like an idiot, babbling and
There's babbling all right, and at present it is coming from a brigade of chickadees and a kamikaze blue jay circling the feeder.
Just when they reach a truce, a couple of show-off finches begin making a racket, flashing their canary yellow chests, taunting
me to leave the computer and come outside. "What beauty is there in a, d, s, f, return and delete?" they say. "The computer
will wait, but Spring is quickly passing."
Easy for a bird to say, a bird doesn't have to write a column.
A thousand shades of green are jostling with one another outside the window as well emerald, lime, and Kelly each
squeezed fresh from the painter's tube, each clamoring for adulation. It's enough to drive a person to distraction. I am about to
tell the greens so, and remind them that they aren't the only colors on the palette, when the Annabelle hydrangeas flutter in the
The Annabelles are squatting low to the ground doing that shy, coy thing they always do this time of year. Looks can be so
deceiving. Behind closed shoots, the Annabelles are racing about, forcing millions of buds to the tips of stems that will explode
at any moment in mass profusions of dainty blooms.
But who has time to wait for mass profusions? I resolve to return to my work when the lilac bush cranes its head and leans into
view. Of all the shrubs and bushes in the heartland, the wood on a lilac is the most gnarled and arthritic of all. Who can say no
to joints that look so pained?
Long curls of lavender poke their heads through clusters of heart-shaped leaves. Raindrops from an early morning sprinkle
plunge from the sweetly scented lilacs into the lilies of the valley waving below. Only yesterday, the lilies sounded the trumpets,
unfurled their leaves and debuted their dainty frilly bells now peering through the foliage.
The e-mail in-box chimes again. I resolve to focus on the task at hand, when a robin begins strutting back and forth on a
railroad tie bordering a red and yellow tulips. Rich soil, long blades of grass and the cool of morning converge for the robin,
and voila! the perfect worm.
"What did that worm ever do to you?" I am about to shout, when the clematis tumbles off the trellis. You don't shout around
clematis, they are regal sorts, awash in royal purple with majestic streaks of white.
Pansies resting in a small pot curtsy before the clematis then turn their bashful charm my way. "No, I don't need to smell dirt on
my hands," I snap. "Do you think I was born yesterday?"
I know how that ruse goes. You plant a few pansies, a geranium here, a begonia there and soon you have rich black earth up
to your elbows and dreams of planting three flats by noon. "Oldest trick in the book," I whisper to the pansies.
Who can get any work done with all this beauty and babbling and Spring constantly knocking about? What I need to do is
close the window, drop the blinds and shut the door.
And I will do exactly that.
Tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the day after that.