"The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." --Robert Louis Stevenson.
Friday, April 16, 2010
The outing started out dubiously. The stainless steel sky became thick with droplets, pelting our parkas as we entered the Seattle Arboretum's "Azalea Way" for our annual gazing-and-gasping foray. Those first photos showed omnious shadows, indistinct blossoms, muddy grass passages.
Undeterred, my adventurous friend and I slogged on. This was the day we'd determined would be the season's peak.
Tenacity paid off: as we strolled, the blanket of gray separated into discernable clouds, then parted further to reveal a cerulean backdrop, then, with time, cheerful sunshine glistened off the fresh drops.
Rows of gnarled trunks propped dark branches drooping with fluffy lushness, clusters of fluttery pink petals that closer looked like tutus on stems. Once again I was flummoxed at the speed God had carried dull branches from bony stiffness to life-giving bearers of froufy poufs; billions of petals sprouted from nothing into breathless arrays, soon to be scattered like pink snow carried by the breeze. The display is humbling, exhilarating, heartening.
The azaleas are yet to pop from their closed-umbrella buds into cheerful clusters; we must return in a week or two for our next dose of awe.