Saturday, April 30, 2011

4.28 The Green Rush

Sun in snatches only this week. On Easter morning, and a few hours here and there. A warm front came up from the south and ran into ocean-chilled cold air on the coast, resulting in clouds and sort of half-drizzle days where it seems it’s about to rain for eight hours and then drizzles a little bit after dark.
Yesterday, the warm air finally won as the temperature went from sixties to seventy, back to sixties, then spiked up to eighty. We went from a nice early spring
morning to a mid-summer afternoon all in one day -- the classic New England April weather-shock.
I’m trying to remember. Does shock treatment cure insanity, or cause it?
But something there is that likes all this moisture. Plants.
Today, for the first time this year, the back garden has its definitive green look. Not all that much color yet, color in spots – the Labrador violets are a glamorously vivid purple backed by all that green – but green over all the land in spears and leafy shrubs and low interwoven groundcovers, pulling up the green juice from the earth, mixed with a lot of rainwater. It’s the visual equivalent of a sugar rush.
The green rush.
I’m working on the hypothesis that it’s good for the soul. Has anybody worked out a calculus yet between sensual stimulus and the state of the soul… or maybe even something as sociologically measurable as self-esteem?
After the minimalism of the winter landscape, plus all that clothing, and the deprivation of growing-flowering-fertilizing smells, spring’s new greenleaf time feels like coming home. Remember the first thawing days when even mud, decay, and chilly breezes smelled good? A kind of early March cocktail? It was good to be able smell outdoors, period.
What the thawed earth does for smell, and bird song for the ears, green does for the eye – and when it comes to the senses we humans are first of all creatures of the eye. Think how much we like pictures.
We’re seeing pictures all the time now. When it’s not raining; weather permitting, that is. Even in the rain, there’s plenty to see. Whole strips of pavement color-spattered with pink cherry blossoms or the red vanguards of leafing time on the maple trees.
Here the bi-colored leafs on the small dogwood tree have just emerged. They are delicate and stunning against the reddish hue of the bark. The stella do’oro daylilies have thickened up marvelously, eating up the brown earth between them in a lively color contrast. Even the light-green color on the fresh leafs of the raspberry canes – an unsentimental and thornish plant – adds light to the picture. And, yes, the wild, ordinary, lawn-creeping violets are beginning at last to bloom.
How can we keep from singing?