The Last Night of My Year

September 4, 2012 Uncategorized  7 comments

It’s the last night of my year because tomorrow is my birthday.  I’ll have officially completed 54 full years and embark on the 55th.

I’m ok with the number mostly.  I don’t love it but it is what it is and there’s no point letting it worry me.

The gardens have gone wild – as much as I swear in June I’m going to keep up with weeding, by September I have officially resigned myself.  The morning glories are climbing on everything, but they are glorious.

The cockscomb has gone mad, and even if I had the heart to tear up those gaudy blooms, the bees have discovered it and are virtually drunken in their buzzing from bloom to bloom.

One white cockscomb is pushing up through the seat of a wrought iron bench.  Now it’s blooming and again, I haven’t the heart to rip those last three weeks from it, because in three weeks or four, the chill will come and it will go anyway.

I have one yellow rosebush that has sent a single branch probably eight feet up and is covered with buds. The cleome and ageratum and sunflowers are all blooming happily.

The Shasta daisies and the cone flower and the black-eyed and brown-eye Susan have bloomed for the last month or six weeks, now you can’t see them for the things flowering in front of them.

I’ve been reading other blogs tonight, and I’ll be talking about them in a day or three, but it seems, for the moment, it’s not inspired anything I want to say just yet, so, since it’s the last three hours of this year, I’m going to give my self a break and call it the end of this blog.

However, I am going to finish with a poem I just thought about, when I talked about the flowers.  It’s one of those poems that always makes me think of the dance of dominance and submission, and the line “the landscape flowers, Outdoing, desperately Outdoing what is required,” is the one that flashed through my mind.

The Heaven of Animals

Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.

To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,

More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey

May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk

Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain

At the cycle’s center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.

James L. Dickey

7 comments to The Last Night of My Year

  • sin  says:

    What is cockscomb? I don’t know that one.

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      Cockscomb is also called celosia, but I think of the celosia as having the more plume-like flowers, while cockscomb has the big rooster comb head. I have both, actually, some seem to have one bloom, some the other and some both.

      You can see a photo of them here:

  • SirQsMLB  says:

    Oh how I LOVE cockscomb. It’s velvet – and vibrant. Happy Birthday and many new adventures to come!

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      I have a small bouquet of cockscomb on my desk right now, the big magenta ones that look like a rooster’s comb, some of the tall plume-y ones int he same deep red, and some trailing white ones. We had rain that knocked a few of them down, so I rescued them.

      I think my favorite part of them is honestly how much the bees love them. There will be four or five big bumblebees, staggering drunkenly around the bloom, obviously half-intoxicated by the pollen and the flower itself.

      Both drew and I love when you watch a bed in a garden and you first notice the big bumblebees, looking impossibly silly toting that big body on those little rounded wings.

      Then you notice the smaller bees, the ones that are the size of a fingernail, also busily gathering the nectar.

      Then you notice that there are hundreds of tiny bees and insects, the metallic bees that seem to come in bronze and blue and green, and then the even smaller ones, the ones that are so tiny it’s hard to even make out the form until and unless they land.

      Add a butterfly or two in, the solid-color sulphers flying around almost like balls in a pinball machine, jagged paths followed through the air, and one or two bigger ones, the yellow swallowtails or the blue and black spice bushes, or even the occasional monarch.

      Does anyone really wonder why I love a garden?

  • Cerrin  says:

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

  • MsConstanceExplains  says:

    It was a very nice birthday, actually, I spent time with friends and I’m going out with more tonight for a belated gathering.

  • vanillamom  says:

    Belated happy natal anniversary…the completion of another cycle, and the beginning of another. And wishing you blessed with many, many more. I loved that last stanza most especially…


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