Saturday, January 29, 2011

`And Now in Age I Bud Again'

A lovely start to the day – and year. I opened the front door, ready to walk my seven-year-old to the bus stop Friday morning. To the right, against the front wall, is a low tree stump that sometimes hosts a beautiful scrambled-egg slime mold. Around it are heaped moss, dead leaves and needles, and decaying wood, out of which grows a cluster of snow drops, the first flower of the season. The genus is Galanthus, from the Greek for “milk flower,” and its six tepals (not petals) were glowing white in the fog and darkness. It felt like a reward for something I wasn’t aware of doing.

At work I’ve been carrying a small book in my jacket pocket – the Oxford World’s Classic edition of The Poems of George Herbert, the second edition from 1964. Please, like me, reread “The Flower,” especially these lines:

“And now in age I bud again,
After so many deaths I live and write…”


Cynthia Haven said...

You've sent me scurrying for the bookshelves again, Patrick. Great lines.

Ed Kane said...

At home today, schools closed for a second day due to ice & freezing rain, & reading Apsley Cherry-Garrard's _ The Worst Journey in the World _, I bumped into these same lines at the beginning of "Never Again", the last chapter. It meant more to me because I had recently read your words too. Thanks for sharing.