Saturday, March 6, 2010

Branching Out

Despite various urgings, I didn't buy the curly willow I saw at Eastern Market on Thursday.

Instead I've spent the past two days wandering around feeling alternately smug and extremely virtuous about not blowing money on something inedible and impermanent and pissed at myself for being so practical and cheap.

This was a pissy morning, but sunny and warmish, so I went schlumping out, plugged into my ipod, to practice not smoking. When feeling sorry for myself I generally feel it is best to really pile it on.

Not smoking takes a lot of practice. One would think that I would be over the worst of it, since I haven't smoked since approximately 1:07 pm on October 25, 2009,  but that would not be so. It's particularly bad now because it's growing warmer and sunnier and I'm wanting to sit outside at a cafe and write and smoke and drink coffee. I am going to want to smoke and watch the flowers grow in the garden. And smoke and decide what needs pruning, what needs feeding, what needs replacing and what is growing quite well without interference. And smoke to rev myself for whatever the next thing is that I don't feel like doing. I would continue but this is only making things worse.

So I wander around like a scientologist (and this is the only thing I know about scientology), poking the painful spots over and over until the hurt is erased. I think that's what's supposed to happen but the more I look at that sentence the weirder it seems.

Anyway. This mornings schlumping brought me toe to twig with a large branch of dogwood lying broken on the sidewalk about a block from my house, waiting for the trash. Somebody thought it was dreck. Hah! Look closely and you'll see it's covered with small bulbous buds, slightly reddish in hue. Clipped up and stuck in water the branchlets will burst into pink flower in a week or so-- at least a month before the street trees begin to bloom.

And weeks before they're available in full flower at a florist for, I'd guesstimate, $60 or so for a nice sized branch.

In the meantime, the gnarly mass of bare branches is wonderfully dramatic  in a vase -- here on my kitchen counter and doubled in splendor against a mirrored backdrop. I'll post a follow-up photo when they bloom.

Such a fine cake and eat it too situation!! I can continue to be smug about not buying the curly willow AND soon enjoy a fabulous and FREE display of dogwood (in fact, I wouldn't have had room for both) AND I actually forgot that I wasn't smoking for about 46 seconds.

Most any flowering tree branch can be forced into bloom around now -- and there are plenty of beauties lying about on the street if you keep your eyes open. Or prune a branch from your own dogwood, forsythia or cherry. Look for one with lots of buds at the tips and either stick the whole thing in water or, if the branch is as huge as the one I tripped across, clip the smaller branches off the main stem.

If you want to grab some dogwood for yourself, there was plenty of branch left on the sidewalk at 12th and C SE, a few steps away from the red brick corner house that's always strewn with webs and huge, fat, hairy spiders every Halloween.

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