Sunday, March 29, 2009


"Once there was a farmer who had a cat. One spring, the cat gave birth to a litter of kittens. The kittens were too many for the cat to nurse. The farmer decided to throw the kittens into the river, since there were too many to feed. The mother cat, however, was devastated by the loss of her kittens. The cat went to the riverbank to rescue her children, but she was not strong enough or able to rescue them all. She began wailing in grief, and her cries were carried by the wind throughout the river valley. The kittens also cried in their struggles to survive in the torrent. The willow trees along the bank heard the cries of mother and children. Each willow dropped its branches to the water. As the kittens washed through, the willows scooped them up into their saving branches. Today we see each spring the reminder of their saving ways. The image of the kittens nestles in the bows of the pussywillow." (from The White Willow)

As a child & teenager, a few sprigs were often in a vintage jar on my nightstand (before the lilacs bloomed). Like any child, I'd pet them & pretend they were kittens. I spent an inordinate amount of my childhood accompanying my mother to all sorts of wild places with her "plant knife" (an old paring knife) & tiny pruning shears; she kept these in her purse always because, as she said, "you never know.'"Reeds, pussywillow, cattails. It sounds better than it was...lots of scraped bare legs (mine, not hers; she directed the action).

I almost brought some willow into the apartment this weekend but the temptation to Julie the Cat would be too great. Even with marbles in the vase, it wouldn't be enough to prevent upending & yelling (that would be me). We had an unfortunate forsythia situation last year; I tempted poor Julie not once, but twice with long fluffy branches. The predictable happened & I yelled. Then I hated myself; she was puzzled & full of hurt feelings. Until I have some sort of concrete urn on the floor, we shall admire branches in nature & in photographs. (The photograph is an especially elegant arrangement from a Domino Deco file & yes I hit the 'saturate' button in Picasa. I cannot help myself, it's a sickness). As usual, computer problems, so I hope to see you tomorrow.

PS: Working on cherry-blossom-in-DC-time but awaiting a photographer's permission for his beautiful on-the-spot pix. The festival officially began yesterday. The pink-blooming wild cherry outside my window is lovely & ethereal against the morning's fog.