Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sleepers, Wake!

Walking through my flower beds on a brilliant August morning, seeing that final burst of glory from the last of the day lilies, what comes to my head is, of all things, Bach's Cantata 140, Wachet Auf! (Play it, as you read along!)

Here is one translation of the lyrics:

Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the heights are crying;
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices,
And the thrilling cry rejoices:
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past!
The Bridegroom comes, awake,
Your lamps with gladness take;

(Catherine Winkworth, 1865)

In fact, my association is a tad off base. I look at the day lily and I think -- trumpet sounds! Sleepers wake! But Wachet Auf hasn't a trumpet in the score. French horn, yes. Trumpet, no.


The other inaccuracy is to suggest day lilies are trumpet lilies.  In the world of flowers, there really is such a thing as a fragrant trumpet lily, but this -- the day lily, my day lily, or more accurately, the hemerocallis -- is not it.


In fact, the day lily should not be called a day lily at all, since its proper classification isn't that of a lily, but let's not fuss. Old habits die hard and what I grow in abundance in my yard is traditionally referred to as a day lily.


And as for the music in my head, well, when you join the lyrics, the melody and the urgent call to a glorious awakening, you have before you my love of these day lilies today, as I see them raise their faces so briefly, yet so gallantly toward the heavens! So the association stands: sleepers, wake!


As you can tell, I get very transported by my flowers!


Even as I've relaxed when the cheepers march through these beds.


Nearly all my flowers survived the cheeper scratching habits and honestly, the hens and their protector are so sweetly non intrusive these days that I have nothing but good words to say about them all.

So, this day surely stands in contrast to yesterday. Though it shares that sublime morning ritual of breakfast on the porch...


...but then it takes its own direction, including some work in the garden, some solid porch reading time, a fairly good game of tennis, a trip to the local farmers market, a dinner of market and farmette odds and ends (including the ever wonderful brined by Ed garden pickles!)...


... and finally, the day ends with getting myself organized for a brief getaway tomorrow to visit my younger girl and her husband up in Minneapolis.