Sunday, January 17, 2021

Aubade Appreciation

 In an attempt to expand his horizons and improve on his lack of culture and grace, ProfessorRoush has, for several weeks. received a "word of the day" email from  To be honest, I have no idea when I consented to be on this mailing list and I have already been finding myself less than enthusiastic about having to delete that email every morning among the 200 emails I get most every day.  In fact, just a few days ago I contemplated hitting that "unsubscribe" link and then moving the whole kit and caboodle into my Junk folder for good measure. 

This morning, however, I'm glad that my procrastination turned this nuisance into a positive note, because the word of the day for today was "aubade", pronounced as oh-bahd.  For the general unwashed among my readers, "aubade", which I did not have as part of my vocabulary until this morning, originated in the late 17th century from Spanish and French influences, and it is defined as "a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning."

My introduction to "aubade" eerily has coincided with an automatic re-post of the photo above from my wife's Facebook page that popped up earlier this week.  Now folks, ProfessorRoush is a little dense at times, and often slow to discern when the universe is trying to nudge me in a certain direction, but I can see the obvious hand of fate as well as the next fellow, and I decided perhaps I should post these photos here on my own blog. 

I, myself, took these pictures of our house from the road in front just almost a year ago (1/6/2020), at 7:39 a.m. on my way to work.  Pre-pandemic, they do have an innocence about them that tugs at me now with nostalgia, the calm pink sky giving way to the relentless yellow sun still just below the horizon, tranquility captured in the click of an iPhone.   

This isn't an eloquent poem proclaiming the beauty of that morning, nor have I composed music sufficient to convey what this picture means to my soul.  Rodgers and Hammersteins "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" from the musical Oklahoma comes to mind and is likely the pinnacle of music in regards to worshiping the sunrise, so I am too intimidated in its shadow to even try.  You'll have to just accept that my aubade today is simply this reverent post, remembering a morning when America was still innocent and our people unmasked and serene. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Oh My P. P.!

Okay, the first rule of 2021 is that we don't talk about "the year prior."  We leave behind here all reference to the misery and chaos of the past few months and any bad feelings or thoughts associated with it.  And, for the record, the title of this blog entry does not mean what you were thinking it did.  You obviously stayed up late on New Year's Eve and have carried over your hangover and mental remnants of debauchery from the closed doors of our locked-down society onto my innocent intentions.  In complete gardening naivete, I meant "Oh my poor peonies."  I can't believe you thought otherwise.  

We won't talk about last year's miseries, but we need to be prepared that our gardening tribulations didn't magically end with an arbitrary agreed-upon calendar change. The photo at the top was taken on Christmas Day last when I realized to my shock that my fernleaf peonies were already birthing into the world, months ahead of prudence and safety. These poor darlings are waking too early, yet another victim of the seasonal time change.  Or  global warming.  Or it could be normal and I've never noticed it.  But it was only Christmas Day and I had peonies breaking ground!  Ridiculous. They should be still sleep, like this reading, dozing old man in my garden, carefree for the cold world around.  My peonies should still be snug under a frozen crust, protected and nurtured by the brown earth around.  Oh, my poor precocious foolish darlings.

And those little red nubbins weren't alone.  Nearby and also coming out were these more-blanched spears of what I think are a Matrona sedum, and doubtless I could find more elsewhere if I looked.  But ProfessorRoush doesn't go looking for trouble when he can avoid it.  If I don't know they're out and about, I can rest easier under the illusion that my garden is also at rest, hibernating against the frigid days still surely to come.  If I stay out of the garden in body and mind, I'm almost positive my garden cannot change without me.  If I don't search out problems, they won't visit me, just as COVID stayed an ocean away last spring while we ignored it, correct?

Well, it was the thought that counts.  I can't change the seasons, nor the cycle of death and rebirth, anymore than I can change the clouds rolling across the Kansas prairie.  I can only await, anticipate, and accommodate to whatever comes in 2021.  It was only a number change, people, the world still moves along its same prior path.  We must perish or adapt, just like these peonies in the coming cold.


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