Tag Archives: Virginia Gambardella

Autumn Days Come Quickly . . . (and an update on my memoir and garden)

 

Colchicum_autumnale_ENBLA02

Colchico d’autunno” (Autumn crocus), taken on 23 September 2006 in Limana (Valmorel) Italy, by Enrico Blasutto. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Autumn days come quickly, like the running of a hound on the moor.
 —Irish proverb

For weeks, friend and Flora’s Forum contributor Virginia (Ginny) Gambardella and I have been sending emails back and forth about my upcoming memoir, a collection of “Stories about raising kids, crops, and critters in the city” (actual subtitle). For those of you who have forgotten, this is a book that I thought was very close to being ready to be published . . .  in June! (Ha ha ha, she laughs, the frustration showing a little.) The Chicken Chronicles, which is no longer going to be titled The Chicken Chronicles (more on that in an upcoming post), has undergone a round with beta readers, a semi-pro editor, and a professional editor. I’ve also been working on the cover. Now the manuscript is back in my hands for a final rewrite. I’m adding a much needed “origin” story to the beginning of the book, I’m also rewriting the Introduction, and making a few other adjustments.

Creation can sometimes take (so much) longer than we expect! 

Absorbed in this work and other concerns, the connection to my garden has been very different this year. For the first time in over 25 years, I decided to take a break, to “let it go” in a big way. At first, I felt shame and disappointed in myself. I wasn’t doing “what I was supposed to do.”

It took me a while to realize: Who is the creator here, anyway?!

Now, several months later, I’ve learned that the things we love the most can become yet another master. This is not how it is supposed to be! Gardening (to me) is not meant to be about control, but about joy, about communion

This disconnecting from the garden, painful at first, taught me valuable lessons, and it’s still teaching me. As I kept my distance, all the beautiful creatures who rely on this space for food and shelter and a place to raise young (a significant amount of pollinators and birds!) were not affected negatively by my decision whatsoever! On the contrary, they have been happier than ever with the wildness and the extra weeds in bloom! I have seen more hummingbirds, more goldfinches, more bees of many species, than I ever have before.

Video: ‘American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) Pair Feeding on Sunflowers,’ by Katja Schulz, National Botanic Garden, Washington, DC, USA. 9 July 2010, via Wikimedia Commons

 

THIS is also what gardening is about. Discovery! 

Wow. That’s a long way to getting to the point of this post: Ginny informed me that September 1st is actually the first day of fall! (Not astronomically, but in accordance “to the meteorological definition of seasons, which is based on temperature cycles and the Gregorian calendar.”)

Did you know that?

I thought autumn officially began with the equinox, which this year in the northern hemisphere arrives on September 22nd. Of course, there are some leaves changing colors and falling here in Colorado, and the nights are cooler, but it feels like “late summer.” And, of course it is (I’m just now getting some ripe tomatoes!). And yet . . .  it isn’t.

The fact is, time is relative. Oh, and here’s the informative link Ginny sent me.

We all have our own timetables, for learning and growing. 

And, it’s an in-between time for sure.

Looking forward to the harvest season (and all that “harvest” means!), and wishing you a happy 3rd day of fall. ❤ 

— SK

 

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The Glad Hand of Spring

A Forsythia inside the courtyard of ENS Ulm Copyright (c) 2005 David Monniaux WC

“A forsythia inside the courtyard of École Normale Supérieure (Paris)”, Copyright 2005 David Monniaux, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Glad Hand of Spring

Golden shooting stars fall toward the earth,
A fragile graceful fountain,
Refreshing mental drought.
A burst of garden laughter,
The greeter at spring’s gate,
Forsythia!

(April 17, 1989)
Virginia Gambardella

Virginia writes: “I vividly remember the day I wrote this poem. I needed a poem for the church’s monthly bulletin, and I needed it immediately, so this was composed in a few minutes for the secretary. The forsythia grew outside the office window and I had in the previous two or three year reshaped it into a fountain (as it should not have been sheared off across the top like a privet hedge). By ‘89 it was outdoing itself, so in fact, deserved an ode to its beauty.”

* * *

 

virginia_gambardella

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

 

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On the First Day of Spring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Andean goose, Chloephaga melanoptera, sat in daisies”, 14 May 2014, by Francis C. Franklin of England, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Virginia Gambardella sent a “Welcome to Spring” poem to me this morning. Within minutes, I found this image of a goose in a bed of chamomile. A charming goose, a charming little poem—our offering to you all on this first day of spring. (Thank you, Jinny.)—S.K.

Earth Born Stars

A hundred stars shoot from the earth
To kiss the sun at their rebirth,
They call hello and wave to all
Who wander by my garden wall.

Then petals fade, they smile no more,
My daisies at the kitchen door

June 1, 1989

* * *

 

virginia_gambardella

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

 

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Come Little Leaves

marsh-lambert-my-little-nature-book

From My Little Nature Book With My Very Own Pictures by H. G. C. Marsh Lambert, 1930. You can read a little about the artist/writer of this book here

 

 

Come Little Leaves

“Come, little leaves,” said the wind one day,
“Come over the meadows with me, and play;
Put on your dresses of red and gold;
Summer is gone, and the days grow cold.”

Soon as the leaves heard the wind’s loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the soft little songs they knew.

* * *

These verses came from our friend Virginia Gambardella this morning. I hadn’t heard from her in a while as she’s been mired these past months in relocating from her home of many years. Her letter joked about digging out of her latest “decoration” of packing boxes and bags. Still, she found the time to connect, to send a few words about Halloweens past,  and this very charming song. “I can remember my mother singing it to me when I was a small child,” wrote Virginia, adding that her mother said she sang the song in school when she was a small girl.

I looked up Come Little Leaves and found a much longer version that connects to our rural past with lines about lambs, vales, and fields. It was written by the American poet George Cooper (1838–1927) with  music by Thomas J. Crawford. Virginia gave it a date of 1903, but through a little research I found it in a educational publication called The Michigan School Monitor in 1889.
—S. K.

* * *

 

virginia_gambardella

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

 

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The Dream

Robert_Anning_Bell_1901_A_Flight_of_Fairies

Robert Anning Bell, 1901, “A Flight of Fairies” – via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Dream

Hold my hand and we will go
to places only fairies know.
Beneath the green-striped lily leaf
beside a nest the robin weaves.
Into the tulip’s lifted cup
We’ll drink the dew drops while we sup.
Then ride a snail across the path,
to splash with sparrows in their bath.
Someday we’ll course a moonbeam bright,
and fade into the magic night.

Virginia Caroline Schmidt Gambardella

 

* * *

 

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York, only three miles from where she grew up. Her dad was a naval engineer and adventurer, and her mom was a dressmaker for Bergdorf Goodman. Virginia enjoys: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.” She wrote “The Dream” in 1991.

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The Gifts of April

By Lobachev Vladimir, via Wikimedia Commons

Girl with a wreath, by Lobachev Vladamir. Via Wikimedia Commons.

The Gifts

April’s garden fraught with scent,

Spring’s gift until the blooms spent.

The jewels of nature, flora crown,

Bespeak a world of grace renown.

(April 28, 1990)

* * *

Virginia_G

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York, only three miles from where she grew up. Her dad was a naval engineer and adventurer, and her mom, who sometimes called her “lamb’s lettuce” was a dressmaker for Bergdorf Goodman. Virginia has one son and three grandchildren and enjoys: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

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Fall Magic

quercus_palustris_pin_oak_-_beale_arboretum_-_west_lodge_park_hadley_wood_enfield_london

Pin Oak, or swamp Spanish oak, Quercus palustris. The Beale Arboretum, London, England. Via Wikimedia Commons.

 

ABRACADABRA
Now summer with her raging heat,
Withdraws her arms from panting earth,
The night descends, it seems at midday
Wrapping our world in darkened veils
Trees give up their coats of green
To don the scarlet cloaks of kings
But soon these mantles grace the earth
Natures jewels to trod upon
Watch closely now the hand of God
ABRACADABRA!
* * *
36866251 - yellow and red color leaves fallen on ground in autumn

Image by manganganath, via 123RF Stock Photos.

Mikey at Fairy Rock
The falling leaves weave a tapestry
Gold, red, brown and rust,
The wind throws her shuttle
Across the autumn sky,
A pattern of fairy wings
Cascading to earth,
To tryst with Oberon
One last time,
Ere the winter claims these
Gently fallen beings
To sleep forever in the earth.
* * *
virginia_gambardella

Virginia with her grandchildren, Erica and Mikey. Photo by her son Michael.

 

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York, only three miles from where she grew up. Her dad was a naval engineer and adventurer, and her mom, who sometimes called her “lamb’s lettuce” was a dressmaker for Bergdorf Goodman (she made all of Virginia’s clothes). Virginia has one son and three grandchildren and enjoys: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking and baking. She describes herself as “a memory keeper to the extreme”—she even kept her son’s baby teeth. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.” She likes to exercise and spends every vacation at the beach with family.

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