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.
The mulberries are ripening...
9 hours ago