A Week in May

Monday Morning Musings:

A Week in May

“If war has an opposite, gardens might sometimes be it”
Rebecca Solnit, Orwell’s Roses

“Arise, women!” . . . “Say firmly: ‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.’”
–Julia Ward Howe (quoted in Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, May 7, 2022)

Extreme–
four seasons wander
through a week, and clocks strike
thirteen, people will die

death comes, we say of all
things bright and beautiful
yes, the daffodils gone—but reborn
again in the spring,
reawakened

to minority rule
we must rise, not as flowers, but trees
with ancient wisdom and roots that delve deep to
whisper underground in mycelium connections

Reflections, Park in Collingswood, NJ

to grow
with desire,
yes, like flowers, too, with perseverance,


in freedom and love

the birds sing and soar.
Resist the woman calls
with a strum on her guitar,

Venus in the early morning.

music the gift of moon and stars—
we echo, yet–

Peonies blooming at the Whitall House

now, elaborate
on how peace reigns in the garden,
though they are always full of ghosts—
blooms arise from decay,
and time veers on hidden paths to circle back–

I see my mom backlit by flowers, sitting there
as she did once–and still does
in my dreams. She smiles.

My mom and I–wine glasses in hand!

We’ve had cool weather, warm weather, dry weather, and rainy weather this week. We went from walking in t-shirts to turning the heat back on and bundling up in fleece. Meanwhile, here in the US, the extremists are taking over. They are not conservatives; they are not the party of Lincoln; they are right-wing reactionaries and fanatics who want to set up an authoritarian state.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I thought of how my mother helped the war effort during WWII, as the US fought (eventually) against the fascists. And then later, the progress that was made for human rights in her lifetime–that the fanatics who now control the Republican party are stripping away. Meanwhile, war continues in Ukraine . . .

Stepping down from the soapbox, I did have a lovely Mother’s Day with our daughter and her husband. She put together this beautiful brunch of nibbles and home-made bagels. Our older child and their wife sent a gift and called to say, “I love you.”

We saw Janis Ian in concert this week, her final North American Tour. It was a wonderful concert, and also a beautiful evening, so we took a walk in Collingswood, NJ before the concert. Here’s a link to “Resist.”

I’m hosting dVerse today, so I’ll be back later!

46 thoughts on “A Week in May

  1. I want to reach in and take some nibbles from the charcuterie board with fruit. Our daughter had us over for a brunch: pancakes, cookies, and mimosas. Love how you describe the weather: 4 seasons in a week!

    • Thank you so much, Marian. My daughter did such a great job with the food–my husband actually made the board for her.
      I’m glad you had a happy mother’s day, too. 💙

  2. This here: “we must rise, not as flowers, but trees
    with ancient wisdom and roots that delve deep to
    whisper underground in mycelium connections”
    I’m glad you had a lovely Mother’s Day, and I’m glad you got on your soapbox for a bit. To think of how years and years of hard work by so many can be so quickly undone by a few.

    But, as always, I love your photos and the hopefulness that is ever present.

  3. Sorry I missed this post. I was very blurry yesterday. It’s a real shit show, isn’t it? As ever, women’s rights (are we even allowed to call them that now?) are dropped to the bottom of the agenda. ‘Of least concern’ as the environmental protection category puts it. Meanwhile, nature goes on with the show.

  4. Happy Mothers Day, Merril (belated) and to your mom, too!
    Your musings are filled with pain and hope. That stupid war in the Ukraine makes me sick. It’s nothing more that a wholesale slaughter of humanity.
    …and the republicans make me sick, too. Taking away rights is doomed in the long run, I do believe.
    I thought of the republicans while watching a news clip on Sri Lanka. The people there have NOTHING! The rich and politicians have it all. The proletariat rose up by hundreds of thousands. They burned down 5 homes owned by politicians, and tried to burn down the big cheese’s palace before the army beat and shot them down.
    I wish the people in russia would rise up!

    Americans need to rise up and vote for the Dems in November. It’s the only way things won’t get worse. They must hold the house and senate!

    • Thank you so much, Resa.
      (My mom died of Covid two years ago.)

      Yes, I don’t know what will happen here, or the world. So many authoritarian regimes and dictators. And I heard a report on public radio last night about all these right-wing loonies who are joining branches of the Russian Orthodox church because they admire Putin. WTF!

      • I remember when your mom died. I remember that Covid took her. It was very sad. Your closeness to her and your heartache coloured your blog.
        Still does when you mention her.
        It’s still taking people. Yet, many run around like it’s all over. I yet, wear my mask in public.

        Then there’s that weird Hepatitis that is causing children to get very ill. I believe some have died. 7 liver transplants in the UK … on young children. It could be related to Covid. The children had Covid, but no one knew, as they showed no symptoms.

        WTF is right!
        The head of the Orthodox Church in russia is as mad as Putin. How can it be that the supreme leader of a church supports wholesale murder?
        Joining the church because they admire Putin? It’s beyond the pale, of the pale beyond the pale.
        The scary thing is that Canada has almost always been a USA copycat. Eventually, good or bad, it spreads here. Our national politicians say they are going to make abortion a constitutional right, (it’s a legal right now, as in the states). I hope they do. xx

      • Thank you, Resa, for your kind words.
        A friend of ours just attended a family wedding, and several family members came down with Covid. Yes, it’s definitely still around!
        And yes, that is sad and scary about the hepatitis in children. I was just reading about it.
        It is all so crazy. I hope your country does make abortion a constitutional right. I don’t know what is going to happen here. . .

  5. I’m glad you had a wonderful Mother’s Day, Merril. Such a happy and beautiful array of images. I get Heather Cox Richardson’s letters, too, and really like that Julia Ward Howe quote. Maybe we need to go back to some of the original meaning of Mother’s Day. Resist, indeed.

    Our weather has been crazy, too. Swinging back and forth. It’s very warm here today and will be warmer tomorrow, but still cloudy. I hope it clears up for the eclipse on Sunday.

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