A Good Day

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris: inaugurated January 20, 2021

The Hill We Climb

Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean that we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while we once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

A Little Dab’ll Do Ya!

Sunday saw a snow event here in Central Texas, including a few inches of snow for my garden. That much snowfall is unusual, but was a nice change of pace. When we get snow, it’s usually light and doesn’t last too long coming down, nor once it’s on the ground. Sunday’s storm lasted for hours and was quite heavy at points.

It was certainly more than our typical dab of snow.

On Monday morning, I caught this vision of the snow which had covered our solar panels on Sunday, but slid off and was bunched up at the edge of the roof like a loose sock around an ankle.

This morning, three days after the snowfall, there’s still some snow left in shady corners–and on my roof.

To me, the snow looks like the snows of June, those drifts of cotton produced from Cottonwood trees, Populus deltoides, which gather along pathways and tangle in shrubs.

All in all, I’d rather have the snow.

Check out Anna’s Wednesday Vignette and garden stories for 2021.

An Obligatory ‘ It Snowed!’ Post

I only half believe most of the weather forecasts that I read or listen to. I generally take a broad view, assuming that the predictions are more ball park suggestions of what might happen day-to-day in my part of the world. Long-term forecasts seem more accurate than the dailies, but meteorology is an inexact science, which makes it fascinating to follow and keeps gardeners on their toes. Sometimes, those are frozen toes.

The forecast for Sunday was 100% rain, possibly turning to snow, with temperatures remaining a smidge above freezing. With the forecast of possible snow for Sunday, I was piqued, but realistic: nah, not gonna happen.

Mea culpa, I’m glad I was wrong! It did snow!

Throughout the day, the pond waterfall lent its melody to the garden during the quiet of snowfall.

Snowfall is rare here in Austin, Texas. In past decades, we’d receive snow at intervals less than yearly, roughly every-other-year. In these climate change times, we’re much more likely to experience ice storms rather than snowfall. Yesterday, the white stuff began falling mid-morning and didn’t stop until late afternoon. My garden received an 1.5 inches of snow and was a welcome sight and wonderful change.

We prepared the beehives for the next few days of wet and cold conditions, mixing up a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, just in case the bees have eaten through their honey stores (unlikely, but still…). So far, in these cold temperatures, the bees haven’t slurped the sweet stuff, but sugar water is ready for them in the next few days if they need it.

The bottle with sugar water stands in a holder, lid facing downward. The lid has holes where the sugar water drips and the honeybees sips.

When the snowfall began, I assumed it would be a short event, turning to rain within an hour or so. As the temperature hovered just above freezing, I assumed the whatever snow fell would melt immediately, or nearly so, which proved accurate in the first hour. After a couple of hours of light to heavy snowfall, with no slow-down of snow fall, I donned a coat, hat, and gloves and commenced covering the few cold-sensitive plants in my garden. The only thing I regularly protect from our limited bouts of frosty winter weather are the several groups of Dianella or Flax Lily, Dianella tasmanica. A great plant for our hot summers and one of my favorites, as it’s beautiful in shady conditions, it’s the only plant that suffers true damage during cold temperatures. I really like this plant, so I’m committed to covering.

This little ceramic owl braves the snow and looks dashing with its snow hat. Its two owl buddies were underneath the blanket covering a group of Flax Lily, therefore no snow hats or photos of them!

This morning sees clear skies and melting snow. It’ll warm a bit today, but a hard freeze is forecast for tonight; it’s January, it’s expected.

So for Monday, we say so long! to our brief snowy show and appreciate the distraction from the craziness of the world we live in.

Maneki-neko welcomes all weather conditions!