Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Nature of Anticipation

My friend and active Bloggista "Miss Eagle" has several blog posts she runs, on different themes. On one of her blogs, "The Trad Pad", is themed around: "Things that make life worth living: books and beautiful things, movies and music, furry things and gardens".

Several days ago "Miss Eagle" (over at "The Trad Pad") posted a blog around a poem by Catherine Helen Spence, a leading Suffragette and the face on the $5 note. The theme of the post was
a search for a suitable name for the in-between season, after the depth of the Australian winter, but long before Spring officially starts. The point is that Miss Eagle is seeing Wattles, Jonquils and early Fruit Trees in flower, in Melbourne - in July.

The issue Miss Eagle was addressing is the appearance of Spring,
without any cultural recognition of this reality (this in-between season lacking a name of its own). So, she set out to create a suitable name for this in-between season.

Anni has also posted about a similar seasonal confusion (under the heading: "As giddy as a baby on a swing" - a lovely poetic title).
Anyway, to the issue at hand - the search for a name for this season. "Miss Eagle" suggested several possibilities: "The Harbinger" (which sounds nicely poetic) and "Newness" (which doesn't).

I suggested to Miss Eagle that a suitable word might be
"Risorgimento" an Italian word, which historically is used to refer to the re-building of the Italian nation. but the word itself means "resurgence". - which I think has the right "feel" to it for this season.

Anyway, I was teasing "Miss Eagle" (privately) about a phenomenon known only to Peony
growers (such as myself). But Miss Eagle has challenged me to publish what I told her. So, here goes.

Peonies are plants which are totally dominated by the seasonal change which occurs immediately after the Winter Solstice. As soon as the days start to get longer, the Peonies burst into invisible growth of their roots. Then, 4 weeks later (in Australia) they poke their shoots through the soil. There is an amazing sense of anticipation associated with this burst of growth.

Every year, when this event occurs in America, the lady Peony growers, on email chat lines, etc, get very excited and refer to the Peonies "poking their little pink noses through the soil".

Come on ladies, you can do better than that!!!

There is a certain shyness on my part about publicly giving this bud the most appropriate name, which would definitely be gynaecological.

Suffice to say that I am posting a somewhat "
clitoral" image to illustrate this story. I am being careful with my words, as I don't want to get "black listed" by "Net Nanny" (again).

I like the term
"Anticipation" for this season. If you wish to contribute your experience of this in-between season, or come up with a name for it, feel free to post a comment here, or better still, add your comment at The Trad Pad, where Miss Eagle originally raised the challenge.

Here is the finished product - flowers of "Coral Charm". This is what the sense of "anticipation" is all about. (Photos from my "Peony Diary" which Anni kindly hosted for me last year, on her website.)


Anni said...

I owe the poetic title to Oscar Hammerstein II (as in Rodgers & Hammerstein). The song in question is from the musical film State Fair. I don't hum the tunes only at this time of the year, they turn up uninvited also around the Robertson Show in March.

Denis Wilson said...

Oh No. Is it "Groundhog Day"? The Americans celebrate Groundhog Day on February 2. Allowing for them to be a bit slow off the mark - have a look at this note from an American website:

"Groundhog Day is our only holiday that focuses squarely on weather. It occurs at a time when weather occupies Northerners' thoughts more thoroughly than at any other time of the year. We know we're still stuck in winter, but enough of the winter has elapsed that we feel we can now justifiably look ahead to the promise of the spring equinox. More than any other holiday, Groundhog Day is the "looking-ahead" holiday, a holiday of transition."

Of course, their seasons are reversed, and so Feb 2 would relate to our Aug 2.

Allow for our milder climate to start the "urges" of Nature earlier and there is a definite similarity.

I can relate to the phrase the "looking ahead" holiday.

But I absolutely hated that Movie!


Anni's other comment about the Robertson Show is interesting too, for that occurs in early March, the other season of transition.

We humans have separated ourselves too much from the sensations of Nature. Most of us are barely aware of what Mother Earth is telling us. But some of us are still sensitive enough to pick up the vibes of Nature. It is great to be aware of these subtle sensations.

Mind you, in other times we would have been burnt at the stake as witches and warlocks.


Denis Wilson said...

Leo sent me this comment, which he was unable to post, for some technical reason - Blogger playing up, again?
He said:
Another party to be heard from... from the rain reports I've been hearing, you could call this season "Wringer". Note the clever(?! ok, maybe not so) use of bits of it's shoulder seasons proper...

I also feel obliged, since it just struck me now despite seeing the phrase frequently in the past, to quibble with your seasons being "reversed" down there. That is not quite true, for it would imply that winter is fallowed by fall which is in turn fallowed by summer and so on. Inverted would be a better description, or "half a year ahead (or behind depending on how you are feeling at the time)"
Thanks Leo.

Not quite sure what "wringer" is meant to mean - presumably referring to his own clothes, being drenched over there in Nova Scotia, at the end of a very wet summer.

As for the seasons being inverted, not reversed, Leo is totally correct, as usual.