Monday, June 7, 2010

Matriarchs of Spring

Peonies are so yesterday's news. I know.

For me, these gals were very nearly an apparition.

They unfurled the day before we left for our Memorial Day trip and when we returned, they were lying there so forlorn, their petticoats an atrocious sight, scattered in heaps at their feet of green.

I knew it was bound to happen, but I was still a little sad.

Do you ever think we're all so enamored of peonies because they are so fleeting?

Or maybe it's because they are just so luscious. So perfect. So Belle of the Ball.

Maybe it's that.

At any rate, I'm glad they stopped by to say hello. They're nothing if not consistent. They know how we pine for them. They know they are our secret handshake that it's officially time to stuff the freezer with popsicles and paint our toenails.

I look at mine and wonder how long they've been here. I like to pretend that they were planted when the foundation was being poured, a hundred years ago. I think of them as old ladies. Is that ok? So, I extend them a bit of grace. I understand that they are tired and frail. It's alright that they can't stay long, that they wilt in the heat, that they droop in the rain, that they're losing their hair.

They are the very picture of old fashioned charm and elegance. Oh Lordy, do they ever frown at my ball-caps and flip-flops, of this I'm sure.

But, I'm a young'un, so I'll bet they extend me a bit of grace. I'll bet they snicker at my country-girl faux pas. They probably fell off their rockers when they heard about my pie crust.

We coexist happily here -- two generations of ladies, born in different times, but with a shared appreciation for soil the color of a chocolate cookie, lemonade sun and the perfect shade tree.

For now, they're off to wherever it is they go, playing bridge and wearing pearls with coral lipstick.

Until next time, Lovies...