Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Perhaps you know who I mean: the individual or individuals who created another scene of death and destruction, the horrific scene which unfolded on April 15, at the Boston Marathon. Someone with hearts full of evil and anger and hatred destroyed so many people’s lives, through death and terrible injury. And not just at the finish line, but at the finish line when many those who were crossing were running for someone else. In memory of someone. For pledges to help someone. People who were perhaps finishing the marathon to prove they could, to themselves, after enduring illness or injury.
Deliberately injuring another human being is not a ‘normal’ human activity. And it has been widely noted that after that first explosion, so many ran to the area rather than away. To help, not to hurt. So they who created this horrific situation (I really cannot think of a better adjective right now) managed to murder an eight-year old boy, and a young woman, and another who is still unidentified. And many of the runners lost limbs and suffered other terrible injuries. So what possible cause could this further? What cause can any such effort further? The answer is, of course, none, absolutely none. And they who have done such a thing will find they have no satisfaction, no closure to wrongs, real or imagined, no reason for pride.
We must remind ourselves, during this, another sad and difficult time of so many recent ones, of those who set themselves to help, to comfort, to rescue. We must remind ourselves of the individuals who are suffering through this time. We must remind ourselves of the basic decency of the human race in spite of such events as this.
And the only other thing that we can do, far from the scene and helpless to help directly, is to reach out to those around us whom we can help right where we are. We can practice kindness and courtesy and gentleness and encouragement until those habits become ingrained and automatic. We can try.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
In this part of the world, we are just on the borderline of where peonies will grow. It turns out they prefer cool to cold weather, and our summers are not kind to most varieties.
But several years ago I found a package of three roots in a bag at a big-box store and couldn’t resist them. Of the three, one, the puniest, died very quickly, but the other two did fine.
When it became time to move from that home, I mentioned tearfully to my dearest daughter that I guess I’d be leaving those behind, and she said, “No, we’re not,” and helped me dig and pot the two survivors. This peony is a very old-fashioned, single row of petals variety called “Krinkled White.” When we got our feathers settled, I gave one peony pot to that same daughter, and kept one for myself, eventually transplanting it into a good spot, apparently, since it has thrived ever since, in spite of two consecutive summers of record heat. Now that treasured plant is growing almost as one looks, and has many buds on it for this current, crazy spring.
We have had, to date, a really crazy spring, weather-wise. For instance, yesterday it was 80 degrees for the high; tonight we have a freeze warning. So for the umpteenth time we have brought some pots in to the garden room, and covered up all the rest of the vulnerable, getting ready for a freeze we may or may not have, after which the temps will climb back up to more normal ranges, and perhaps even above that.
But as we run about swathing pots with burlap and special frost blankets and even old regular blankets, we have this one wonderful consolation: this cold weather is good for the peony!