Full Circle

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, 

and rise, 

their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness 

gladly and lightly, 

and there it is again — 

beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open. 

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 softly, 

and exclaiming of their dearness, 

fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, 

their eagerness

to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are

nothing, forever.


I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

Posted in Arts & Culture
3 comments on “Full Circle
  1. Robin csmpbell says:

    Enjoyed Lovely tribute to your mother

  2. Cecilia Roach says:

    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.

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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