Friday, April 14, 2023

Friday Rambles - Bloom

Sunlight, blue skies and fluffy clouds overhead, birdsong in the overstory, avian courtship rites and nest building everywhere - the village is opening out and greening up before our eyes as Beau and I potter about and peer into hedgerows.

Spring does not make a quiet entrance this far north - she comes over the hill with an exuberant bound, reaches out with a twiggy hand, and everything bursts into bloom. When we went off to the park a few mornings ago, the first narcissus of the season were blooming in a sheltered, sunny alcove, and we both did a little dance. These were the Poet's daffodil (Narcissus poeticus), often identified as the narcissus of ancient times and one of my favorite spring bloomers. 

How can this week's word be anything except bloom? The modern word comes to us through the Middle English blo or blome, and Old English blowan meaning to open up and flower lavishly, to glow with health and well-being, to be as dewy and flushed with sunlight as a garden tulip or an early blooming orchid in a wild and wooded place. It all begins with the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) roots bhel-, bhol-, bhlē- bhlō-. In that ancient tongue which is the reconstructed common ancestor of all modern European languages, they mean to grow, swell or unfold, to leaf out or come into flower, to flourish and thrive.

Perhaps a better word for this week would be sex, because that is what springtime's lush colors, alluring fragrances, velvet textures and warbling ballads are about - the Old Wild Mother's madcap dance of exuberance, fertility and fruitfulness. Every species on the planet seems focused on perpetuating its own heady genetic brew, and their collective pleasure in being alive is almost tangible.

Forsaking appointed chores, we poke around in the garden, lurch about in village thickets, peer into trees and contemplate the blue sky for long intervals. It's simply a matter of blooming wherever one happens to be planted. Beau is already a master of that splendid Zen art, and his silly old mum is working on it.

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