Privilege Blog

Green In The Fog, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:47am

It’s foggy here. My daphne with its lemon-sweet smell is in full flower.

Small catkins and tiny cones hang from the tall alder in the middle of our back lawn. They’re pale green; the branches red-brown; leaves just budding. This spring the pale pink and white hellebores nigh-on burgeon. And yes I say spring because in California although a frost may yet come, the season starts soon.

February, when it all begins in my neighborhood, is almost upon us. The roses are pruned, viburnum flowering, ferns unfurling a frond or two.

Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a full 56 of my 66 years, I know this weather like my thigh bones. I have seen our summers get hotter and hotter. Days like today, the fog of my childhood low to the ground, I can almost feel the earth taking whatever chance it can to recover and be itself again.

Which resembles hope closely enough. I have not forgotten the violence.

To your days, my friends.

13 Responses

  1. Your garden always sounds absolutely lovely. I dream of having a home like that one day and hope (yes?) it will be possible. Nature shows us so much about ourselves, doesn’t it?

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of beauty and love. <3

  2. Also have not forgotten the violence.

    Was surprised to rise to fog our my windows this morning. It seems a long time since I’ve seen something other than pouring rain or sun. The fog burned off by the time we took friends to the airport at Noon. Sun is now streaming in through my windows.

    Your post reminded me of William Carlos Williams poem “Winter Tress”, which I love. We are at that California stage where the final wintry things, such as the last leaves falling, have happened. It surprises me every year that our last leaves fall in January, and then our trees and plants get ready for spring. When I was young, there was usually an early false spring, a return to winter rains, and then spring. I’m not sure if that happens any more.

    Here’s “Winter Trees” for your trees and plants as they prepare to wake from their slumber to our new spring.



    All the complicated details
    of the attiring and
    the disattiring are completed!
    A liquid moon
    moves gently among
    the long branches.
    Thus having prepared their buds
    against a sure winter
    the wise trees
    stand sleeping in the cold.

    1. Katherine, “The final wintry things, indeed. And our spring seems to have more waiting in it, more quiet, than in more wintry places of the world.

  3. fog our my windows = fog out my windows (I can’t find a way to edit my bedeviling typo.:)

  4. Daphne’s not blooming here yet, but I brought a few sprigs of my Sarcococca inside yesterday and the tiny blossoms have filled our condo with fragrance. Snowdrops are popping open and daffodil blades pushing upward — getting very close to my favourite time of year here. Close to hope, against the violence. . . xo

  5. It’s nice to think about gardening in the middle of our (so far) snowless winter! Everything around here looks scabby and shabby – even the shrubs that stay green seem to be losing heart and fading away. The best I can manage is a Christmas-gift amaryllis that is about to bloom in our kitchen bay window – enlivening the dreary scene with what I hope will be vivid scarlet with creamy white throat.

    Somehow bare winter trees look better when there is snow on the ground and a sprinkling on their branches …

    1. Victoire, Scabby and shabby, so evocative. I hope this cold snap has given you and the flora some actual winter by now!

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