For days now the word “burgeoning” has been on my mind, like the refrain of a song I keep playing over and over in my head.
I looked it up to see if it was the correct word for what I have been sensing around me here in Baja California Sur.
The meaning of burgeon, “to bud, to sprout,” definitely fits, but I sense something more. Is there another term to express a gathering of organic energy, a potential for newness?
If “earth laughs in flowers,” as Emerson said, the type of burgeoning I’m noticing is like the very beginning of a chuckle, deep in the throat.
New shoots and almost-open buds are as indicative to me of spring’s vigor as are full, showy blossoms.
The nopal (prickly pear cactus) pictured above appears to be blooming at first glance. But it’s actually putting out a new penca, a fleshy new leaf pad like the one in the photo below:
I can almost feel the power in the following coastal agave just beginning its bloom:
This one is bursting into decadent bloom, beginning with the bottom limbs of its towering flower stalk:
I can’t see this beauty without being reminded, though, of this agave’s life cycle. It flowers only once and dies, leading to a skeleton:
The opening lines from one of Dylan Thomas’ poems illustrate a similar duality:
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
I’m not being morbid or melancholy in noting the end of the cycle even as I notice its beginning–indeed, its quickening–here in early spring; I’m only reminding myself that mortality gives each moment meaning.
Noticing this precious now seems to me to be a form of praise.
[For a close look at a coastal agave bloom and a xantus hummingbird, another Baja native, please go to the About Practicing Wonder page, shown at the top right, or click here https://practicingwonder.com/about/ .]
What around you seems to be gathering force for spring?
What reminds you of life cycles?