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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Camellia Days

Camellias are blooming, next to the house, on a cold winter day. Buds are showing up everywhere. Don't they know it is the middle of winter? 

And the star magnolia?  What is she thinking budding at this time? Why, there are roses still blooming in the yard, with hurricane winds and temperatures dipping in the 30's most nights.

I was born in the middle of a snowstorm, Mother used to tell me, in the worst of weather, during a war, with occupied forces right next door, with planes bombing all around us, with food shortages. 

I was as big as as my father's hand, not meant to survive.

People always surprise us on how long they can survive.

Camellias come just at the right time, when our spirits are tired, our bodies weary. Winter is blustering all around us; but these harbingers of spring are the early sentinels.

42 comments:

Suz said...

Oh that is precious..your story of your birth
Now that I can look back..being a mother and a grandmother
how sweet,hopeful and redeeming was your birth
Flowering plants...like you a miracle

Eva Gallant said...

All flowers are buried in snow here!

Brian Miller said...

they are beautiful and thanks for sharing a bit of your story as well..we can be surprised sometimes at who or what can survive and in that there is hope...

Helen said...

The entire state of Oregon continues to amaze and baffle me at the same time. We are blessed!

Retired English Teacher said...

Seeing green in the middle of winter is always a blessing. Survival, hope, and growth are found in places where we don't expect to see them. Thanks for reminding us that life is not alway predictable.

Patricia said...

Delightful, Rosaria. So many lessons in nature!

Woman in a Window said...

Your story, the real history of a life, always intrigues me more than any flower. But then this is just the metaphor. This I know, but I want to peel back the flower, see you tiny, and behold your mother's face.

xo
erin

Miss Sadie said...

We're in the same shape as Eva. Everything in the yard is buried under snow, except for the trees and the shed.

rosaria said...

Suz--in those days people believed in miracles and their lives were surrounded by these signs everywhere. I think it helped me survive and look at the future with hope.

Eva--I make such a fuss with cold and snow because I've changed so for all those decades in warm California where snow was entertainment. You hardy souls remind me of what the world is really like.

Brian--Implicitly, we are telling our story with everything we write.

Helen--as transpants, we made this choice, and we can easily make another. Having choices is great.

Retired--As teachers we were always amazed at what came out of children's minds. Sometimes, these were lessons to us, the teachers, not to pre-judge, or underestimate a child whose grammar and spelling showed so many flaws, but whose thoughts soared above everyone else. What lesson that was!

Patricia--gardeners are the lucky people, still connected to the real world out there, where the smallest thing, a tiny slug can decimate all the tomatoes. Yes, gardeners are connected to these rhythms.

Erin--Old people appreciate when anyone wants to listen and relive with us. I see lots of seniors who have become silent and entombed in their maladies. The joy of life has gone off somewhere. Nobody asks us how to do anything anymore. Sad. You have the gift of seeing, really "seeing" people.

Thanks for the visit, everyone.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

It is amazing to hear your stories of snow and cold while we here in Turkey are having probably the mildest winter on record! I haven't worn gloves once! But your camellias are blooming ... isn't that wonderful.It does make you think...

claudia

Monkey Man said...

Way to weave in your birth history. I wasn't expecting that and it was beautiful.

rosaria said...

Rob Bear--Yes, you are buried deep, I'm imagining! Stay warm.

Claudia--One reason blogging is so popular: we get to visit a place like Turkey this time of the year and soak up some warmth and great food. Thanks for the visit.

Monkey Man--So good to see you! If the roads were not so treacherous, we'd be up in your neck of the woods, littering at Powell's. Thanks for stopping by.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

The early sentinels of spring ... I like that. Here, where I live, at our house in the hills, it is not uncommon to see Camellia flowers in the snow.

Maggie May said...

I also was born in the living room as I was a war baby too. But.... I was quite a bonny size!
Love these stories and I agree that your flowers are beautiful.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Hope said...

I love it when little surprises such as these start happening. we are in the middle of our winter. two day blizzard over the weekend and still more snow arriving. love winter but would sure like to see some eager buds popping their heads up. I'm certainly rushing it. won't see that until March.

lovely post and especially the bit about your birth.
thank you for sharing it with us

Arkansas Patti said...

Amazing story about your birth. That is survival.
Can't believe you have buds, I have icicles.

ellen abbott said...

my dad grew roses and camellias. they always make me think of him. I have tried to grow camellias but never with any luck. They do not flourish for me.

Grandmother said...

You were a survivor from the beginning! And now you seee the beauty all around you and share it with us- lucky us!

Donna said...

Love the smell of Camillias!
I had twin sons the size of my hand...a 3 lb and 4 lb baby who went down to 2#9 and 3#2. They grew up to be wonderful men and for that I will always be grateful! Much like you they are very resilient!!

yaya said...

I have a magnolia tree in the front yard that my Hubby wants to cut down. He feels it's planted in the wrong spot, and he's right. But I can't bear the thought of killing that tree so it stays where it's planted and many times in the middle of our cold, snowy winters..like now, I'll look outside and see one pink flower! It always surprises me and helps me remember that spring will eventually arrive!

That Janie Girl said...

Beautiful. So you were a miracle baby, huh? Awesome.

RNSANE said...

Growing up in the South, I always loved the camellias, with their wonderful blooms, especially the double ones, when the winter cold was still chillig us. It seems like everyone had them planted and they blossomed so profusely that we always had them inside in vases and my mother always put one in my room. If I remember,though, there was no fragrance which was a disappointment to me.

She Writes said...

It is amazing what and who can survive in the coldest of conditions.

Ocean Girl said...

So beautiful Rosaria and I enjoyed the story so. Challenges can make us stronger.

Hilary said...

A lovely post, Rosaria.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"but these harbingers of spring are the early sentinels."

Ah, now that what I like - hopeful stories of spring. Makes me want to visit the garden store.

Shadow said...

now who are we to question the blooming flower... they know when's the right time to appear after all.

the walking man said...

Blooms of endurance tethered with buds of hope.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

I remember when we lived in CA the camellias bloomed lifting us out of the winter dreary foggy days...here in MN I doubt they ever heard of a camellia....the only blooms now are from the flower shops. My repotted amaryllis only put out green blades, nary a bloom...

Nice piece tying in your birth and yes, we all tell our stories in our writings...

Robyn said...

I love the way you weave the then with the now.

Love Camellias too..

Enjoy your flowers x

Marguerite said...

Great story! They say that only the strong survive! My Dad was born at home, a preemie, only weighing 3 1/2 pounds, back in 1921! He is now 89 and still going strong, so I think it is largely a matter of the strength of the spirit, rather than the body.

The camellias are in full bloom, here, even though we have gone down in the low 20's for the past few nights. They are survivors, too!

NitWit1 said...

It is wonderful to have harbingers of spring when we think we are freezing. I have a lovely bunch on nandina berrries plus one nandina bush whose leaves are divided by half red ones and half green ones, weird but interesting.

The story of your birth was very tender and beautiful too.

Talei said...

Lovely post. And surprising, -despite recent snow and rain - I spotted some blossoms budding recently. Made me smile, so does your post here. ;)

Karen Gowen said...

This post is like a charming little poem. Your memoir would be a gem to read, I hope you are writing one.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. having just been down in Cornwall - warmer than here the Camellia buds were patiently waiting .. but the weather is now so warm (relatively to the big freeze we had in November and December) .. anything could happen. The catkins were on the trees in the hedgerows as I drove back ..

I too was born now - my uncle remarked that he'd never been so cold as he was when he came to visit the first me!!

The roses and flowers haven't stopped for some reason - very strange. But our winter yellow jasmine is flowering .. again .. not sure why - we wait to see what happens in February and March ..

Cheers and so pleased you're still with us!! Hilary

miceLLe said...

You weave well, a hint of cold,with a hint of beauty.
More than a year ago I discovered, when my mom died, that she saved all the letters my dad sent to her when he was overseas during WWII. This week I have begun to read the soldiers letters and copying them onto the computer. He speaks of rain, incessant rain and mud, rationing of cigarettes and wishing he was home. It is Dec 1944 Paris, the mail is censored and the delay in receiving letters with news from home is driving them crazy.
Also I have begun to read Bomber County by Daniel Swift, a gift I received from a friend. He Daniel Swift writes about a journey he and his father made following his grandfathers footsteps as an english bomber pilot who was killed in action. The book also quotes and chronicles war poetry and the poets lives during the war. One never really thinks about the bomber crew up in the planes, as soldiers of war, and he brings them to life while examining the attitudes of the use of planes and bombs.
So, I segue to the popular blogs for a break and I am thrust still, again, for the third time back to WWII. It is an odd occurence, wouldn't you say, as I sit here in the middle of America in rural Missouri with the cows, hay and horses, far enough away from town and the nearest neighbors to admit that we are isolated and insulated with the cold and snow. The happy sight today was three immature bald eagles in the field, the third sighting of bald eagles this winter(the visit here for the winter). The only thing here flowering is in the refrigerator waiting for trash day and the seed catalogs that have been arriving since before Christmas, bring the promise of spring, which will be here soon.

Shades Within You said...

This is a beautiful story and I will keep following your page.

Lose Weight Quickly said...

Lovely word

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Friko said...

I have snowdrops and the first signs of the golden aconites to show off in my garden. Do they count?

Congrats on POTW.
This is my first visit here but I shall be visiting and getting to know you.

ethelmaepotter! said...

What a lovely story and brilliantly told in just a few well chosen words. Congrats on POTW!

spread your wings said...

i love camellia's for that very reason. but i live in the mild south so it's not quite the marvel that it must be in a area such as yours.

dianefaith said...

You were a preemie? Amazing! The Little Man whose pictures I sometimes include on my blog was 3 months early and weighed 1 lb. 8 oz.