Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11: White Violets

When I was a kid I loved to pick the little white violets on the front lawn before my grandfather mowed. They were ephemeral and therefore all the more valued. According to my grandmother's birthday book, violets are the flower corresponding to my birth month, February. So I felt an affinity for them and saw it as my duty to save as many as I could from the mower's blade. My grandmother had a special, miniature vase that held my violet bouquet perfectly. I would take my 10x hand lens from its handmade suede case and closely examine the violets' tiny purple faces as if they were secret flower fairies that only I knew about.

This time of year, though I mow my front lawn regularly, I hesitate to mow in back where the patchy green is sprinkled with dainty constellations of those same white violets. By the time they're gone by, my lawn is about eight inches high and sprouting frilly clumps of ferns and other interesting flora. Last year I ended up not mowing till fall.

In my unkempt lawn
sprays of small white violets grow
beautifully wild.

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