Grackle & Sun

Easter Light & the Scent of Boxwoods

The light in Spring is different. Brighter, whiter. The kind of light that sparkles and snaps. Together with the kite-inviting winds, it is what brings the Spring, what wakes the world from the cold sleep of winter. As a child I disliked what I called “Easter light”, because it meant Easter was coming. And other truisms, as well. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Easter. Love for rabbits. Love for dyeing eggs. Love for baskets full of crinkly fake grass and sweet smelling sugar-coated marshmallow. Hate for scratchy, uncomfortable, hideously pastel Easter dresses, lacy Easter socks, and stiff, binding patent leather Easter shoes. And good lord, the flipping hats. How I hated Easter hats. Then there was the whole church thing, and that was the end of it for me. Easter was like a siren, promising sweetness, mystery, and fun, and then coming in for the kill with teeth and claws and dresses and resurrections. All of this together with those transitional Spring winds making me itchy and restless for change… well, I never liked Spring.

It’s interesting to examine these feelings as an adult, to pick them apart and reassemble them with more understanding. It is a type of rebirth. Fitting for the season. I am doing this now—examining my feelings for Spring outside the context of my childhood tribulations, lol. Examining these feelings in a place of autonomy  of thought, belief, and body. I am realizing that I like that sparkly hard white light and that restless snapping wind. I like watching the world wake up and realizing that it only ever sleeps with one eye closed.

The farm is greening hard this week. Blossoms and cotyledons abound. Here is to autonomy, rebirth, and the spirit of Spring!


This huge, old quince has been here for at least 30 years. It is home to all the rabbits.

Reminds me of Duncton Wood.

Grape hyacinths that I cannot bring my self to pick for dyeing.

Jonquils. Daffodils. Jonquidils.

Dandelions and violets and other assorted weeds growing happily in the crook of a tree root.

I think I could grow happily in the crook of a tree root, too.

Plum tree blossoms.


A tiny mystery flower.  It is very wee.

One evening after a light rain, I was walking in the front yard and smelled the most gorgeous fragrance. It was sweet and fruity—kind of reminded me of grape Kool-Aid. I couldn’t figure out what it was. The next several days, I continued to smell this amazing sweet-fruity fragrance, but couldn’t find any flowers that it could belong to. Then I realized the source was hidden right in front of me—a hedge of boxwoods blooming with their little inconspicuous flowers. I’ve never thought of boxwoods as anything other than a nice evergreen bush. Now I have learned what their secret gift is. They smell absoluteley divine. I feel like I should have known this ages ago, but I won’t complain about learning it now.

i am thankful for the gifts of Spring.

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14 thoughts on “Easter Light & the Scent of Boxwoods

  1. Hats, dresses and church?! I would have run away. Far, far away. Love the stone faces!

    • I ran away from a whole season. But now I’m back to claim it for my pants-wearing, animatheist self. :D

      • So how do your parents feel about it now, assuming they were the torturers in this case? ;-)

      • Hmmm. I wouldn’t want to speak for them, but I think there is some disappointment there. I had a good childhood, and I wouldn’t want it to seem otherwise. It is just unfortunate when social, cultural, and religious convention does not leave room for a child to be as different as I was/am. I am a black sheep is all. A lovely, lustrous Romney. ;)

      • Hmm, if you ask my mum I was probably a goat… :D

        Most parents do the best they can.

      • Goats are awesome. My sisters all loved the dresses and stuff. I don’t think my mom knew how I ended up so weird, lol. I forgive her every frilly Easter dress because she did so much good for me. She understood the importance of letting us play, shared her love of books, and she told us stories. Lots of wonderful stories. All incredible gifts for a child. Being a parent is hard. I wonder all the time if my kids will grow up and have some “Easter dress” that I inadvertently made them deal with. Only for them it’ll prolly be that we didn’t eat bread or I made them listen to Tori Amos. Who knows.

      • Yeah, goats are cute, but a bit ornery LOL.

        I can see some of my grandmother’s issues in my mum, and although I’m very different from them in some respects, I do wonder sometimes if I would have copied the same pattern if I’d had kids. My granny loved dressing me up, she made me take dance lessons at 4 and always forced me to sing into her tape recorder which I grew to hate. I still refuse to do either. My mum also don’t understand a lot of my thoughts and choices, but we’ve been able to talk some of it over in recent years and I actually think she’s doing a good job being more accepting and encouraging even when she doesn’t understand. I think the hardest part for her is not feeling useful, because I can’t use much of her advice for anything, she probably feels rejected by that. I only just thought of that yesterday. My head is already so full of ideas, I really don’t need more noise from someone who is not “in the game”. (Mum is not a creative soul, she wants me to copy things)

  2. Wonderful photos! I cannot get myself to find any kind of Easter mood here in Australia. In Europe it was different – all you described about the light, things coming to life and coming out of hibernation… just getting a bounce in my step. But here it’s the opposite, getting dark, cold and wet, boooh. Once winter sets in, we will have clear, crisp and sunny days again, with magic light and all will be good.

    • Thank you! I’m trying to get the hang of using my phone’s camera now that my regular camera has gone to the great fotomat in the sky.

      I often think about what it must be like in Australia to experience holidays with totally different seasons than I am used to. Easter in winter must be a completely different experience. I dream about Australia sometimes. It’s one of the places I go in my sleep. Someday I hope to go there while I’m awake. :D

  3. The deal breaker for me was the crinoline slips under the dresses. Itchy, itchy, itchy.

  4. Oh, come and visit! I’m enjoying the return of rain and cool weather, and being in Australia… never have seen Easter as a seasonal event (because it makes so little sense to see it that way in autumn!) It’s good to be reminded of those symbols as originally connected to spring.

    How good it is to be able to reclaim the delights of the seasons and detach them from cumbersome old stuff… and what glorious photos!

  5. PS my grape hyacinths won’t be going in the dye pot either!

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