He is the color of purple that I would never put on my body.
Together, they speckle the edges of the forest behind the farmhouse with their brief burlesque. An unfurling of petal that bests all that Monet ever did.
Then, the redbuds leaf and the dogwoods drop their petals. Gorgeous, green, months long.
Beneath my feet as Meander pulled me up the mountain this morning, I saw the tiniest frond of a new fern laying against moss beneath. At the top of the trail, surrounding the piles of rocks gifted to me by God and glacier, may apples form an ankle-high forest of life sprung from the invisibility of dormancy.
Just beneath the redbud by the driveway, tiny grape hyacinth have sprung to life, resilient against mowers and skid steers.
And the hill on which the farmhouse sits burst to life with daffodils like fireworks.
Now, the daffodils are green stalks around which I must mow, and soon the hyacinths will fade into grassy tufts that stand, yellowing, for weeks.
For it is not the flower that gives all the life; it is the leaves.
Too much, I want to be the flower – the showy, bright thing that everyone travels to see for festivals. The writer whose books pay off her debt and climb the bestsellers list. Too often, I want petals, the purple, the near-white.
The show gets me noticed. It makes me feel good.
But it is the the stalks of green that stand, the ferns that tuck themselves into spores to uncoil new each spring, that last. They make the beauty in the shadowy cool of a summer forest.
They are the long life.
Today, I am starting a new book project. I’m quiet with it now, whispering softly between ourselves. I’m eager.
But not for the show, not for the sales or the book launch, or the royalty checks – although those things are a different kind of gift. No, I am eager for the quiet practice of gathering in and putting forth. Pulling down sunshine and transferring it to the rooted, woodyness of paper.
I’m eager to write. Deep and green and long.
What are you writing for – the flowery show or the long, green haul?