Profusion of Roses

Roses June 2014 002


In my part of the country, my part of the state, the flowering trees rage into spring and early summer in generous blankets of color, always a welcome sight after the uniform overcast of winter.  But this spring and early summer, the roses have it.  Our rash of warm and sunny days has inspired extensive blooming; sprays of blossoms taller than a man hang over fences or climb garden walls.  My garden’s small contribution has expanded to four varieties and all of them are very happily opening and opening as if that is what they were meant to do.

For myself, this extra ration of sun so early in the season has spurred me on unexpectedly. I fling myself pell-mell into a full bouquet of expanding projects, eat late, and get to sleep even later, wondering where the time went.  I know this feeling well.  I remember the power surge of the summer light when I lived in the far north, all that yang energy coursing though my veins like a drug I couldn’t get enough of.  And, as the consecutive winters took their toll, the contrast between “dormancy” and “awake” grew even greater.  I  moved to the northwest to find some moderation, but not this season.  The roses are singing and I hum along in harmony; I am fluent in rose.


Bagels with David Ignatow


No, I’m not the sick one.  But with a fifteen year old at home for six weeks (going back to school tomorrow–sound the trumpets here!), I have gathered a couple of tools for sustaining myself and my son through the duration.  The most concrete and remarkable for me has been undertaking to make fresh organic bagels because organic wheat is now central to my son’s sustained good health.  I increased my odds for success by adhering strictly to the America’s Test Kitchens recipe with the addition of using organic all-purpose flour.  (Costco is currently carrying an organic brand which you will find under the newly minted green label in the baking aisle.  I do love those green labels--everything organic is so easy to find!)

If the poetry of handling food in the kitchen eludes you at the moment, see David Ignatow’s The Bagel to better understand how I can be “strangely happy with myself.”  I found his bagel poem on Billy Collins’ Poetry 180.

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