Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In the Hope of Buds

It’s too early to look for buds, but I live always in the hope of buds.  And just a week or two ago there were buds on a bare fruit tree in Santa Cruz, poking their tender noses bravely out into the winter air.  How can we live except in hope, we creatures born of optimism, with spring a tribal memory in us?

I think it’s no mistake that taste buds are called that.  Therein begins a world of wonder.  The world of cinnamon described so well in Michael Ondaatje’s poem, the world of oregano I wrote in such ecstatic detail, the world of clay pot chicken or Moroccan tagine or cherry clafoutis.  Apple brandy.  Lavender buds on buttery pound cake.  The taste of the earth on a stone from the garden, to a child.

Magic is there, incipient.  And faith.  And life.  The ability to bud despite the frozen earth, the sheer improbability of warmth ever returning, of hardness giving, quickens us.  After a start that almost isn’t, forms the world.
“Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? ...We are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.”—Diane Ackerman

image:  Sempervivum buds, Pfly

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