I spent years feeling like there was no restful place for my eyes. Maybe there is something wrong with a person who has such difficulty finding beauty in her surroundings. Now that I’ve moved away from “the city” I think it wasn’t so much an inability to find beauty as an inability to ignore ugliness. Beauty was everywhere, but it was tainted, surrounded, out of place. There was sorrow too apparent in beauty’s struggling on, in its insistence on survival. That’s still true, I suppose, but now I find beauty the abundant rule and ugliness is the intruding exception. There is less bitter with the sweet. What changed? Me or the landscape?
Dame’s rocket is a flower that is among the first to bloom in a succession of uncultivated flowers that celebrate the passing of the temperate weeks. And as these pass away they usher in other blossoms. They look like Easter candy in shades of violet, lavender, pink, and white. They line the roads and ditches and creek banks. They fill the edges of the woods. In the evening they give off a sweet musky springtime scent and seem to glow in the diminishing light.
Its latin name is hesperis matronalis which I think has something to do with mothers at night, but makes me think of “The Wreck of the Hesperus” – fitting since dame’s rocket is banned in Massachusetts (and Connecticut, Colorado, and Wisconsin) owing to its invasive nature.
But it sure is pretty on my counter.
ETA: I apologize to everyone who landed here because I erroneously added the tag “beauty.” I didn’t realize that was code for cosmetics. I’m just figuring this tagging thing out.