Saturday, April 04, 2009


Know what these are? I bet you do if you're from the midwest or east side of the country....they're pussywillow branches! A true sign of spring in many hearts and one of the most unique 'blossoms' ever! A dear angel at work brought these to me....we sort of have a 'pussywillow' history. Years ago, at one of her baby showers, she received a gift of a bunny rabbit figure, covered completely in pussywillows! I was so struck by it since you hardly see pussywillows in any form out here in the desert. I think she was so struck by my reaction, and since then, she will frequently gift me with some pussywillow branches picked up at the local market.... I treasure them and, as corny as it sounds, I do take a trip down memory lane when I receive them.

Growing up in Ohio my backyard was my playland. I played among the pussywillows, the forsythia bushes loaded with their delicate yellow blossoms, the 7-foot tall purple lilac bushes amassed in their splendor (I would frequently make a bouquet of them and put them in a little vase in my bedroom), the camellias in their pinks and reds, and oh my gawd... the irises...THE IRISES!! I would sit beside them in the grass, studying them and inhaling their fragrance! I played among elm trees with their 'helicopter' seed pods as toys, the pine favorite being the Colorado Blue Spruces. The pansies and snapdragons were often breakfast for the secret bunnies which hid among my neighborhood. In the fall, our maple and sugar maple trees rendered their splendor - with me ironing flaming leaves between pieces of wax paper to stick on my bedroom window glass. There was a 20-foot mulberry tree that my friends and I would climb with a bucket - loading up as many as we could pick, climbing down, rinsing them in my mom's aluminum colander, then sitting on my patio as the sun set, eating our tummies full, with purpley-black juice running down our arms.

Nature was my earthly salvation.

And still is.

But I digress....back to the pussywillows....

In a box out in my garage I have a sampler that I began designing almost 20 years ago. It was to tell the legend of the pussywillow. What? You've never heard of it? Oh, let me tell it to you....

Once, a farmer happened upon a new litter of kittens on his property. He was angry at this, gathered them up in a burlap bag and tossed the kittens into the cold waters of the river which ran by his farm. The mother kitten paced back and forth along the banks of the river...meowing for her kittens and in great distress. As she cried out for her babies, the willow trees heard her cries and took pity on her. They bended over, dipping their long branches into the cold, swirling waters of the river. The kittens clung onto the willow branches for dear life as the trees lifted them out of the river and placed them safely down on the ground by their mother.

So the little furry, gray buds of the pussywillow that you see are the baby kittens being rescued...

A present greeted me this first rose on a new bush I planted about a month ago. Oh, to be honest, I'd had the bush for about 4 months sitting in my yard in its container....but, unfortunately, I soon hurt my knee after buying it and was not able to plant it in my garden. That changed a month ago and this little gem was stretching up in the morning sunlight today! It's small and surely could have used a shot of fertilizer a while ago, but it's sweet, fragrant as it is beautiful and just brightens up my little garden out there! Good things DO come in small packages!

I did my taxes last night after getting home from work. My house is clean (oh boy, IS it clean....I 'smudged' my house last Sunday...I'll have to tell you about that in another post!), daughter is off to do a list of activities and I am giving gratitude for my health, my family, my job, my wealth of friends and grace from above. I am keeping many in prayer as the times upon us are difficult and bring tough challenges to many whom are my friends.

Blessings to you this day.


Meags said...

Thanks for the nature walk. You are a blessing to me and yes we do need to continue to pray for all.

Love you


Grumperini said...

Pussywillows and Forsythia!! I love my Hibiscus and all my desert blooms, but I miss these two signs of spring from my VA days!! Thanks for the reminder!

As for difficult times... brace yourself for the meeting on Monday morning, for the RIF is upon us and I'm one of the ones who is out...

Cheela said...

I don't think we had pussywillows in Douglas!

Just Joni said...

Are you just so full of energy or what?! My goodness, I hung on every word trying to capture some of your wonderful spring enthusiasm...I love it! And I too have a "thing" for Pussywillows, but I didn't know the cute little story about them. Your childhood reminiscing jolted a few fun memories of my own back...the leaves in wax paper, the sweet fragrances of the Irises, and the helicopter seed pods...all precious to think about.

Enjoy these magnificent days...their simplicity and beauty are about the only things we can count on these days.

kimberly said...

beautiful words, vb.....i too have had a thing for pussywillows for years....that and cattails!!! my family knows my love of both, and when they were young would often gift me with such a gift.....lovely!!! and i love the story....i may need to frame that some where in this place of mine!

what a wonderful place to grow up in and make memories....amazing how those days stay with us.

we have many in our family and extended that are affected by the times....and like you....we continue to pray that days will bring comfort and help.
thanks for the refreshing words, and lovely happy you are joying in the days!

Chickenbells said...

Why would anyone put kittens in a sack and throw them in water? I mean, sure...we get a great legend, but still... ;)