The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- April 2003

Last Update: April 21

April 2 - morning

Well, it continues to be a glorious time in the garden, the only problem is that I haven't been able to spend much time there. I feel as if this beautiful spring is leaving me behind - but, somehow, I will find a way to reconnect. Maybe I'll take one slow spin through our bluebonnet choked labyrinth before going to work.

I have been incredibly busy preparing for KLRU's new local series, Austin Now. I hope that you will find the time to connect with this exciting new project. I am proud of what we have been able to put together. Tune in this weekend. (Friday at noon and nine - Sunday at five.)

April 4 - morning

I am happy to report that our American Goldfinches are back, en masse. For a few weeks, I thought all but a few stragglers  had moved on towards their summer breeding gounds, but all of a sudden our feeders are the talk of birdland again. This morning, there must have been fifty birds gorging themselves on the thistle seed we provided. I love seeing their bright yellow feathers against the bluebonnets in our labyrinth.

This weekend I will be leading a tour to the Painted Churches. I look forward to being out in the country for a few hours. Hope you have a great gardening weekend wherever you are. I want to wish my sister Diana and her husband, Doug a Happy Anniversary! Five years and going strong!

April 11 - morning

The garden is just beginning to lighten up but our young trees are already glowing with their early spring greenery. I am drinking my first cup of coffee and have already run one or two dry rehearsals in my head of everything I have to do today to prepare for our next round of programs at KLRU.

Fifty years ago this morning, my parents must have been running a few thing over in their heads as well. Today marks a very special day for my family - my parents' fiftieth anniversary.  They had only known each other for a few months when they were married - I can only imagine the excitement and fear that they were experiencing as they prepared for a life together. Who could have guessed that they would travel so far, face what they have faced, and still be together and still be in love some fifty years later. How often does that happen?

What is truly amazing and inspiring to me about their relationship is how different they are and yet how they still manage to make their relationship work. My Mom is social,  inquisitive, and verbal - she loves experiencing new things and new places. Dad is quiet, cerebral, yet set in his ways - a homebody who loves tinkering in the garage. Sometimes, I am sure they still can't believe they have made it work, but they have.  I know there are times when Mom wants to reach for the proverbial rollerpin and Dad pretends to be deafer than he is - but, I am deeply thankful to them for having the vision to recognize the gifts they offer one another.

Over the years, my relationship to my parents has changed in many profound ways, I have been a son and a rebel, a source of pride and frustration. There were times when we couldn't stand the sight of one another and other times when we couldn't wait to be reunited. I remember calling home when I first traveled abroad some twenty three years ago, I was so moved to hear my Mom's voice on the other end of the line that I couldn't speak. I also recall one evening, during my college radical days, when my Dad and I broke our stony silence towards one another and really talked about things that mattered. There are still many things that really matter and though we don't talk about them enough, I am very glad to have two old friends who still care enough to listen when I call, to help out when I need help, and to share my joy in a world they have shaped for me. I know my sister, Diana, feels the same way. We love you Mom and Dad! Happy fiftieth!

April 21 - morning

It was a beautiful weekend with an unexpected breath of cool air -  what will almost surely be  one of our last cool fronts of the season moved through yesterday morning. We still need rain, but the more spring like weather really helped set us in motion - we went into "garden overdrive" and  exhausted ourselves planting, transplanting, fertilizing, and completing our major project of the spring: the new bed and "conversation room" at the heart of our garden. This morning I took a few pictures to share...

Looking at the new bed and "room" from the south

Our Orchid Tree (Bauhinia congesta) in bloom behind our labyrinth

The new bed and conversation room from the north

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