Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gifted (SWF)


There’s a new charge under my care—a tender, sweet thing, with just eight small, heart-shaped leaves. In a small, brown pot, the 6-inch stem reaches out, beyond a ring of words wrapping dark earth beneath it—
the story of a life, saved.


Those who know of it, know its promise—the beauty that will someday surely come.
Grown from good stock, sturdy and strong.
Of a time and place when hands worked the land, and roots ran deep.
This little lilac remembers.


For this is not just any little lilac, this is one of Julie’s Heirlooms.
Dug from the parent plant last spring, and nurtured through the months of summer, it waits now for me to settle it here, beside the old brick house on the hill.
I hope I will care for it well, ease the earth to accept it, safely shelter it from harm.
For Julie cares well for everything in her life--plants, pets, ...people.

None so gifted have I ever known.
Truly gifted am I to know her.



Through the clothesline, I can see the small pot nestled with the flowers at the edge of the walk, as sheets and daffodils duck and bob, flapping in an April breeze.
It seems they must be sharing secrets, or telling tales of long ago.
I'll bet they're talking dirt.


Julie Zickefoose is a widely published natural history writer and artist, naturalist and NPR commentator, who lives with her husband, two kids, crochety macaw and Boston terrier on an 80-acre nature sanctuary in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio.
In the time between writing and illustrating her own books, Julie brings the natural world to many readers with a daily web log.

Her gift of sharing warm and fluid narratives endears her to all who know her work.


See more Skywatch here.

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25 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes, those daffs are like a church pew of young ladies in their Easter finery gossiping about the others bonnets.

That lilac will certainly look like it has always been there near your house. It is a perfect compliment for the house.

Yes, you and Julie are the perfect match for friendship.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I've never gotten to Nature Remains before the legions have, so I'm uncharacteristically tonguetied. Thank you. I think my favorite thing about the heirloom lilac--and there are so many things to love--is planning the destination of the one or two babies I'm able to propagate each year. My young giant has yet to throw out any root suckers, so I must take them from the original mother plant in town. She's getting old and feeble, growing between two huge Victorian homes, reaching for the sky, and the suckers she throws out are probably a sign of stress. Making something beautiful of that effort on her part, sending these precious plantlets where they will be nurtured and appreciated, and perhaps someday propagated and passed on to other kindred souls, is the whole thing.
Love you and your kindred soul! JZ

NCmountainwoman said...

That white porch was meant to have lilacs nearby! Wonderful post and nice tribute.

Deborah Godin said...

Loved the peak at the yard and the most encouraging patch of blue above!

marcia@joyismygoal said...

what a nice post And a Splendid yard

Erin said...

daffodils are beautiful and the lilac will some day soon join in the show.
lovely and thoughtful commentary which i so enjoyed reading.
thanks for sharing.

erin

Bradley Myers said...

What a great spring time post, it is warm here and really feels like spring. I am content just to set and listen to the birds.

Janie said...

Beautifully said. I enjoyed experiencing a taste of your spring.

Photo Cache said...

Looks like blue skies in your part of the globe too.

Pearl Maple said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, hope you are enjoying spring.

Arija said...

A beautiful garden and attitude to gardening. Enjoy your lilac as it grows. When you plant it out, give it a good drench well diluted Seasol to promote root growth, fertillize with well rotted cow or sheep manure when it gets established, then wait, but not with bated breath as it can take up to 7 years to flower. Gook luck and lots of joy.

koala said...

hey there. Be sure to post some photos when it's in full bloom.

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, I love lilacs! How blessed you are to have this heirloom and this friend!

Gill - That British Woman said...

beautiful flowers.......

Gill in Canada

bowledover said...

You have a way with words and plants also.
The porch beckons and I would love to sit there. Lovely post.

Martha said...

What a wonderful post and what wonderful springs you have to look forward to when that little lilac grows and blooms.

Dave Coulter said...

Very nice. Give it lots of sun! :)

Mary said...

When I realized you were talking about a Lilac, I remembered how much I miss them and want them again. Then, I read it's a gift from Julie. How very special, indeed! That Lilac is in very good hands. Let's see it grow, Nina, OK?

P-TER said...

Wonderful flowers.
Beautiful picters !
Gr.
P-TER

KGMom said...

You are truly gifted--recipient of heirloom lilacs, friend of Julie Z--AND (drumroll,please) frolicker with Chet Baker.
What more could anyone want--well, maybe a kitten snuggle or two!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Yes, KGMom, it doesn't get much better than that! Little lilac is out enjoying a spring rain, yesterday, warm sunshine on dark earth to stretch out little roots, face to warm rays.
Very much enjoying it all.
Sweetness.

naturglede said...

I love your sprinphotoes. Have a nice weekend:)

NovaS said...

Amazing... definitely one perfect shot!!!

Happy Friday!

SWF here:

HISTORY of SUPERNOVA and SWEETPAIN
ANGELS IN MY LIFE

giggles said...

Lucky you! Lucky, lucky you!

Lilacs are one of my absolute favorites too!

We have a huge old lilac bush in my side yard that has lots of smaller shoots.... This post sets me to thinking that maybe these are to be propagated and shared!? (I have some homework to do!)

Oz Girl said...

Such a beautiful post -- the photos, the prose. A lovely porch with the stone path and the peek of blue sky. ;)