Yielding Spring With Grace

Rhodendron forest Rowallen Gardens, County Down, Ireland
Rhodendron forest Rowallen Gardens, County Down, Ireland

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?
~Robert Frost from “Reluctance”

It is, for me, a reluctant solstice.  I am unready to relinquish this hard-won daylight back to the night.   Here is Ireland I was amazed to see light on the horizon as early as 3:30 AM and it is still quite light out at 10:45 PM or later, almost two more hours of daylight here than at home.   The farmers are making use of this extra time; the tractors are busy until dark bringing in silage and round bales all around us.  At home the grass still is standing with almost an inch of rain yesterday.  No hay yet; it is waiting for us to fly home.

Northern Ireland is full of rhododendron forests,  centuries-old trees standing 20-30 feet high still blooming a full month after ours at home had finished.  A late spring reluctantly is yielding to summer as the delicate blooms wither to brown and fall to the ground, looking very much like autumn leaves.

I bow to this transition and accept the new season with grace, with glad sadness and sad gladness.   I will carry this extra light from Ireland home in my words, my pictures and my memories, to brighten my heart on a winters’ night.

A hillside of rhododendron in the Mourne Mountains, County Down, Ireland
A hillside of rhododendron in the Mourne Mountains, County Down, Ireland

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