28 March 2022



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.

Paula Meehan

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.



NewRobin13 said...

That poem is so beautiful, Sabine. I'm going to add it to my "Saved Gems" folder.
I have friends who live in Portugal who have opened their home to three Ukraine refugees. It is such a profound thing happening on our planet right now. It's hard to fully grasp from our safe little place here on the north coast.
The thought of needing a missile shield system scares me all the way down to my rickety old bones. I am so worried.
I am trying to learn how to have hope.

am said...

"... 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 ..."

Since 2002, 138 refugees from Ukraine have resettled in the small town where I live. Here is a statement from that community:

"Whatcom County Slavic Community would like to express their sincere gratitude for all of the emotional, spiritual, and financial support that our Whatcom County businesses, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family have provided during this difficult time for people of Ukraine."

One of my friends and her husband took in an Afghan family of three, giving them a temporary home in their basement apartment until they found their own apartment.

The sorrow of war continues.

I've been reading this while listening to frogs and birds announcing spring here:


Thank you for your news from Germany.

Pixie said...

Scary times we live in. So many what ifs, most of them awful. Spring and seeds bring hope at this time of year. That's a lovely poem. A seed is indeed a miracle, nestled in the soil, waiting.

Ms. Moon said...

I will never understand the need to throw a god or gods into the cycle of what is in nature.

Linda said...

Life goes on. The frogs know it, the birds know it. It's hard to comprehend that for Ukraine that's not true. That is survival at best.

I wish each and every one of them peace (and rhubarb crumble).

Steve Reed said...

I love the sound of "an insignificant faraway country."

37paddington said...

We keep on keeping on. What else can we do. Your rhubarb crumble sounds delicious.

molly said...

Love that poem. Seeds are indeed amazing. We've just planted some and if everyone that has come up grows to its full size, we'll have enough lettuce and radicchio to feed the entire county, if not the entire state of Florida. The plants bloom, the seeds drop, the plant dies, the seeds rest, then warm in Spring and it all starts all over again. Spring is indeed a time of hope.

Joared said...

We have Ukrainians coming to our town and more at our nation's borders. We're told many will be admitted. Nature is God to me. We're going from spring-like weather to instant summer heat-wise but don't know how long that will last. Oh, rhubarb! I love it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Roderick Robinson said...

Big things, seemingly easily forgotten. You wonder how.

Secret Agent Woman said...

That is a beautiful poem and I'm saving it to re-read and think about.

It's so complicated and so sad. I can't quite wrap my mind around what is happening in the Ukraine.