The first warm day of spring
and I step out into the garden from the gloom
of a house where hope had died
to tally the storm damage, to seek what may
have survived. And finding some forgotten
lupins I’d sown from seed last autumn
holding in their fingers a raindrop each
like a peace offering, or a promise,
I am suddenly grateful and would
offer a prayer if I believed in God.
But not believing, I bless the power of seed,
its casual, useful persistence,
and bless the power of sun,
its conspiracy with the underground,
and thank my stars the winter’s ended.
Flowering fruit trees, bees pollinating, warm sun, lunch on the patio. There will be rain, maybe even some snow in the coming days. April.
To date, 1 500 refugees from Ukraine have officially arrived in our city, in the coming days, weeks, this number will go up to about 10 000, schools and kindergartens, youth clubs, hospitals, vaccination centers, churches, local community centers are organising language support, extra teachers, staff, volunteers.
As a result of one of my new year's resolutions (concentrating life's necessities to within cycling/walking reach) I walk to the new dentist. She also meets another resolution (switch to female medical experts), and she hums while she polishes and cleans. She laughs when I mention sage tea, yes, yes, the stronger the better, rinse every day.
My country's government is considering installation of a vast missile shield system, an iron dome. Our nation's elected leader explains on national tv during Sunday prime time why and how "we will not become militarily engaged there" and that "even if they are called peacekeepers, they are troops." We try to consider this, R coming from a neutral country that was brutally colonised for centuries, I was raised in the country that brought about WWII and the genocide of 6 millions Jews. My sister-in-law, a pastor in the Lutheran church and peace activist, sends me links to anti-war songs, urgent petitions to sign, war resisters statements on non-violent solidarity. My child and her family live peacefully in an insignificant far away country.
Later, we bake the first rhubarb crumble, a bit too sour and too soggy but delicious as every year.