“If I had but two loaves of bread I would sell one of these and buy white Hyacinths to feed my soul.” (Elbert Hubbarb 1856-1915)
How did it manage to stay alive,
how did it struggle through the dark, damp light of day?
How did it live through the bitter season of the freezing snow?
How did it form the first green tip and how did it grow?
Nobody knows, but here it comes with petals to make its silent witness of spring.
as blue as the blue of a summer day
a deep and lovely shade.
The marvelous work of a perfect artist
But as I look on the perfection of the sky blue bloom I am haunted by this question, how in its frozen tomb did the bulb in cruel weather manage to survive.
How did it live in the long cold winter? How did it keep alive?
So many years ago that the lettering is starting to fade my Father sent me this poem. When we lived in that other place, where winter was cruel and cold, I would pot up hyacinth bulbs and put the pots in the garden. My Dad would dig them out of the frozen ground and I would bring them into the house to bloom.
I have hyacinths blooming around my front door. Their heady fragrance perfumes the air. Their colour necklaces the river stone. Their magic weaves a spell and beckons all to enter.
This is a re-post of a blog I wrote in March, 2010. My blogging friend Cecilia, of Thekitchensgarden.com commented on my post this morning about lilies. It reminded me of this poem my Father sent to me.