The Darling Buds of May


Photos © 2012 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Technically, this year the darling buds are of April (or in some cases, late March!) because it has been so warm, but they do not rhyme with “day” and April has too many syllables.

I spend as much time as I can outside, in the woods, or in the garden or at the seaside. It's where I do my best thinking and breathing and get the most perspective.

Sidebar: It is also, it turns out (of late) where I see the most, ahem, intimacy. Is it me or are the local wildlife being less discreet than usual? I mean, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits…the neighbor's cat! It's like an 'extra' channel on cable around here! Geez!


I love being outside in the springtime and seeing everything creep back into life. Sometimes, because we are so busy, or because some of us live in more extreme climates, spring can seem to “pop”. Like one day it's winter, and WHAM! It's spring! But that's not really how it goes. Tiny bits at a time the fresh green pokes it's way out of the ground or off the branch, the flowers on the trees are first fuzzy pods and then tiny cups before they are full flowers. Every growth has a thousand tiny steps.

Nature approaches cautiously and takes its time. I have had the benefit of observing that practicality this year as I walk each morning. Practical, but not nervous, or shrinking. There is also a confidence there. Sure, it may freeze again and we've certainly had snow on Mother's Day before, but the blooms come anyway and are not less bright. Nature does not keep score, or shrink nervously from past failures. Last year's long winter, or a harsh spring freeze that squashed its buds years back. No, Nature enters with enthusiasm…coming into the same bright life each year, with no less gusto even though it has done this same thing year after year. It does not shuffle in or act ho-hum. Nature shows up. With bells on. Again and again.

It is with this reflection, and on this date (well into this new year) that I have finally figured out my 'word of the year': AGAIN.

I am going to practice the art of “again”. I am going to enter with enthusiasm. Dust off my gusto, and keep at it. I am going to do this again and again because I love it. Because it's worth doing and because it makes me feel alive and meaningful.

I plan to apply the above mantra to various parts of my life, but I think you get the drift. I am going to show up, not because I never have before, but because I will always have a new bud, or sprig to nurture and because sometimes 'again' is what counts.

As I wrote the title of this entry I was prompted to reread one of my favorite Sonnets by Shakespeare (I studied Shakespeare at length, and have many works that are close to my heart, but this one was admittedly made a favorite by “Dead Poet's Society”, swoon.):

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


I have long considered this a romantic conversation. From a lover to a lover. But reading it now, I would like to lobby for its consideration as a letter to yourself. Your spirit. Your SELF. With gusto.


PS. These photos are from Instagram…I am newly obsessed (and yes, late to the game…about a billion dollars late…lol) and you can find me at: curlygirl510

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