Monday, April 5, 2010

Morning Walk

Today I gave up sugar and bread. Not for lent, obviously, as that ended a couple of days ago. Not even for health reasons, though that is part of the motivation.

Nope. I'm doing it to fit into my clothes. I'm not one of those who keeps clothes of various sizes on hand. When I lose weight, I get rid of the fat clothes. Normally, I don't need them.
The traditional Georgia fare is quite different from that of California. Having been away from the south for eleven years, and back here to visit rarely, I missed the food I grew up eating.

So, I've been indulging myself. You know. Pigging out.

Biscuits and gravy. Cornbread. Fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, chicken-fried steak, fried pies, fried burgers, fresh cut french fries, fried anything. Deserts. Sweet sugary gooey stuff, creme horns, caramel cremes.

For three and a half months.

I've gained so much weight, even my panties are tight. And I refuse to go buy bigger panties. I did invest a couple of bucks in the next-size-up jeans a while back. But at the rate I was gaining, even those were getting tight.

So I took the plunge. Back to California food.

Today was also the first of my daily walks. I barely left the house yesterday, choosing instead to work on blog maintenance and other things. So imagine my surprise to discover that between Saturday and Monday, the whole dang countryside changed colors.

On Saturday the pears, plums and cherries, forsythia and quince were blooming. And the maples.

But today, holy smokes.

The trees are all budding  and the countryside is awash with thousands of shades of green.

The violets are in bloom.

Ahhh, violets. Such a simple little flower, and a bane to those inclined to manicured lawns. But being a country girl at heart, violets are one of my favorites. Maybe because, like the daffodil, they are a harbinger of warmer days.

My walk today was a short one, but tomorrow I'll have more time to explore and take in the sights.

It has been eleven years since my last Georgia spring. In Southern California, spring is beautiful. But it's not the dramatic waking from dormancy and nothingness that the plant life experiences in Georgia. Trees transform from sharp, bony angles to soft, round contours and flowers spring up from the dirt.

I am grateful to be here, grateful to smell the freshly tilled earth and the first-mown grass of the season. To hear the streams, swollen from winter rains and watch the mating rituals of the birds. To see the plants and trees burst forth in their finest duds as the landscape comes alive in front of my very eyes.

Thank you, Higher Power, for allowing me to witness this miracle, this magnificent affirmation of life.

Oh wait! I almost forgot the memorial on the side of New Hope Road.

No doubt, for a child whose life ended too young, in the spring of life. It seemed fitting to include it here. For death precedes the rebirth, and thus, is an essential, however difficult, part of life. For each of us. I include the picture here as my own little memorial. To Jessica. And those who loved her.

These pictures were taken on the east end of New Hope Road in Dawsonville, GA, from top to bottom: close-up of Red Maple seeds (the flowers were just as spectacular); henbit (considered a weed, but I think they're pretty); Vanhoutte Spirea with a blanket of violets underneath; forsythia in full bloom and beginning to leaf with a branch of the adjacent Redbud tree seen on the right; violets; field of violets; Wild Cherry tree in leaf with flower buds not yet opened; memorial for Jessica Spears.


Ivy Bliss said...

Simple gratitude is where I am today as well. It seems amazing that life is so full of small things that I tend to overlook. Noticing them has made all the difference.
I am so happy for your new revelations and growth. I love you.

Lowcountry Transplant said...

Life is like eating a tasty meal. We can gulp it down while thinking about other things missing out on much of it's subtle flavors or chew slowly savoring each bite enjoying each moment to its full potential. Thanks for the pics. Spring is a glorious reminder of our creator's goodness!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Ivy, here's to the small things, may we always be looking for the little miracles life has to offer. Thank you for the encouragement, I love you.

Transplant, isn't it just. I have spent a lot of my life running around like a headless chicken (and bolting my food). Some days I still feel like one, though now for different reasons. It's nice to not only walk, but to pause for pictures. It encapsulates each of those moments and makes of it, a prayer. I am so grateful to experience spring in Georgia, it had been so long, yet the unfolding is still the same. For 52 years I've walked this earth, soon 53. But the earth's natural rhythm remains essentially unchanged.

I clicked over to your blog, you're just getting started, no posts. I look forward to reading you, when you do. Are you in the low country now or have you left this corner of the world?

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