This picture is about the full circle of spring and the peony, which blossoms, then dies, perennially. My mother died this month. She was 96. Charlotte Sr. was charming and blonde to the end. My daughter, Hadley, read Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem, Peonies, at the Service of Thanksgiving, for her life, was at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the week of peony bloom. She taught me to value beauty.
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
Enjoyed Lovely tribute to your mother
So sorry to hear about your Mother’s passing. I know Heaven is a more beautiful place with her there. My Mom loved the bed in the tree at Edisto I bought from you. She thought it was magical and I do too. My heart leaps every time I see it. Really hope your Mom meets my Mom, so they can talk about us.
Oh, Cecilia, thank you so very much. I love this story! …and, yes, I bet they are whispering about us right this minute. That makes me smile. With fondness, Charlotte