Tuesday, June 11, 2013 • 5:03 AM Post a Comment

Peonies in the Rain

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

The fuchsia peonies up the street are the Susan Sarandon of flowers: siren hot and unapologetically sexy as they show signs of age, like so many petals strewn beneath them revealing no care for what they've lost.

It’s raining and I can’t get an actual photo of these particular peonies. This is from a bunch for sale at Tuesday Market last week at the Old Friends Farm stall. If you buy anything (I swear by their greens and am newly obsessed with microgreens, a delicious and expensive healthy obsession) you get to meet Mabel, the most adorable farmers’ new girl baby at market this season (Noah, over at Crimson and Clover gets most adorable farmers’ new boy baby at market this season).

Greens and farmers’ babies aside, what do I learn from the peonies? It’s all about noticing beauty, and how beauty shifts and in order to stay happy, you have to find it through all those changes. You have to see beauty; it’s there, but you have to see it—and happiness functions exactly the same way. You can’t get stuck on one thing or one ideal to provide either beauty or happiness.

Big thoughts on a rainy Tuesday morning; I have nursed some disappointment recently and sprinkled fatigue over it, so I know from the value of observation at the moment. The big happy is not out there in full sun; it’s like the ability to see the bright yellow slicker worn by a person on a bicycle happening by in the rain and saying to myself, “Oh, bright! Oh, cool!” is more the ticket.

Three: there was an amazing concert on Sunday in support of the override in our town and in hopes to keep art in the schools. The Nields outdid themselves—and their performance included Amelia Chalfant, Dave and Katryna’s daughter, fresh from her blow the adults away on sound check moment (a la Lennon and Maisy in character on Nashville with Ho Hey—see how I did that?). Saskia and her Hootenanny crew sang at the end. The whole thing made me love where I live and the people I get to pal around with more than I can actually say in words. I took Remy to the track races for kids last week. I’d never really been there with him—and wow oh wow, how fun and cool and again, I get to live here? Somehow, my wonderful spouse finds calm where I find agitation (and frankly, vice versa the next day). I’m so lucky to be co-all the things with him.

Three: I wrote a piece on adoption, race, cultural identity—and white parents for Brain Child this week.

Obviously, I must take the opportunity to link to Lennon and Maisy again. This one is new and I’m crazy about it.

I admired this essay by a mom (and widow) who sends her son to camp all summer—and why. PS: I love the camp(s) she sends him to. PPS: There’s a piece that went around the Internet last week about how a drowning child might not appear to be drowning. I’m all for safety, do not get me wrong. I am also all for the fact that we hover too much and you have to let your kids learn to swim—and then swim. And if your kid can do something like go away to camp, let them go. Cajole your kid into going, like that. Independence is not only a good thing, it’s the end game.

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