Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Springing Forth

We have this plum tree in the backyard.  Or maybe it's a cherry.  Its fruit are inedible, whatever they are.  It sits at the bottom of an unstable slope covered in weeds and blackberry brambles.  It doesn't have a symmetrical and graceful crown. It suffered imprudent pruning in its youth.  It has thick truncated branches that sprouted new branches at awkward angles.  

My neighbor would like to take it out.  My brother who is designing a deck for us would like to take it out.  But every year for a few days when it blossoms--when springtime has brought it the right combination of water and warmth--I find it so agonizingly beautiful, so heartrendingly ephemeral, its white blossoms on black branches ready to fall or be swept away like snow on eyelashes, that it is worth all the other days when it frankly borders on being an eyesore.  We returned from Texas to find it blossoming and I was sorry to have missed even a day of its brief grace.  

Clementine, who in no way resembles this tree, has been bursting forth with creativity. While nature has been bedecking our yard with white blossoms and yellow daffodils and green poppy plants promising a profusion of orange, Clementine has been at work on the inside.  I set out a stack of card stock and some scissors and suggested Valentines.
Instead we got Clementine's menagerie.

 Though not inexpertly pruned or an eyesore, maybe she does resemble the tree after all.

Don't we all stand ungraceful at times, withdrawn, fallow?   Clementine can be found often in her pajamas, hair knotty, staring out a window, listening to her book on tape.  Or on "the warm" (the heater vent) with Calvin and Hobbes open. Soaking up the water and heat of creativity.  And then, unexpectedly, she bursts forth with inspiration.

What's blossoming at your house?


Nathan said...

actually Carrie ( whose son Nathan has taken over her google account so he can "chat " with his friends.)said,

"Oh my goodness! I love her menagery.

Our house is blossoming with home-made games...board games, games with little figures, games made out of legos, and games made from GameMaker on the computer."

Susan said...

Carrie, oh, homemade games are the best! Because they are really homemade worlds and universes with their own physical laws. Thanks for sharing!

The Stone Age Techie said...

This is, I think, the crux of all learning. We all need the time in our pj's, daydreaming and zoning in our own way, to get to where the lightbulb goes on above our heads.

With crummy early spring weather here, there has been more screen time than is usual in our house - and even that is a form of creativity-in-waiting, because once they're done watching the Olympics or playing video games, they take those memories and incorporate them into Legos, or skits, or songs, or cute little 'go Canada' posters.

Thanks for this post! You are so lucky to have your tree, and (more obviously) your Clementine.


Kristin said...

Clementine's creations are wonderful and she was sure on a roll. Her attire, hair, and her interest in listening to stories on tape sounds just like our daughter. Enjoy your blooming tree.

JeaneP said...

Wow! Her menagerie is lovely, colorful and so clever just like Clementine - I've lots of new snow waiting for creativity to hit this weekend :) Looking forward to it. JP

gina said...

those are amazing!!!!

an eric carle study perhaps is order?!

illness is blossoming this week at our house. :(

and anticipation...

of Spring.

of bridging up in Girl Scouts.

of sunshine and warmer days.

of Shaye's birthday and party.

of no longer needing to sit in a booster (only one will be left!)

Stefaneener said...

Those are astonishing. Susan, I'd like to knit some of those motifs into a shirt -- or can we talk about turning them into embroidery or transfers? They would make some beautiful clothes.

Sparklee said...

What a beautiful menagerie! Now my kids want to decorate our windows for spring! Thanks for the inspiration...