Aprill Chaucer


When I had a lawn, it was peppered with violets. The finest old lawns always entered spring bearing violets. Now they are harder to find in my garden, but as much as I loathe lawns (at least in arid places, where they have to be watered), still I love to see them on my walks, purple and white, blanketing other folks’ grass.

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The myrtle is blooming, too. An old German herbalist in our town told me that the myrtle flower — called periwinkle — would help prevent cancer. So I include it in the spring tonic she taught to make with violets, lambs quarters, plantain, and baby dandelion leaves, tossed into the blender with pineapple juice.

And lamb’s quarters are lovely steamed with rice. Now if only I could think how to make use of bindweed.

It’s said that April is the sighing month. It’s been chilly with the occasional snowfall — what passes for spring showers in Colorado. In March, the stirring green skittered along the ground like dew. In April the green begins to rise. The air is a green mist, a fine, soft shimmy of green in the budding trees. How could green get greener? Lime green, silver green, olive, sage, blue-green, emerald, pea green, jade. Green = verde = veritas = truth.

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A dove is visiting the garden, trolling under the bird feeders. Overhead this morning, a heron flew in the direction of the big ponds. In ancient Babylonia, King Sennacherib created gardens, parks, and simulated marshlands in the capital of Nineveh. He knew his efforts were successful when herons roosted in his ersatz environment.