At some point in my schooling - I forget exactly when - I had to memorize Pippa Passes, by Robert Browning. Or more precisely, I had to memorize the most famous section of the poem. The chances are, you did too.
"The year's in the spring, The day's at the morn, Morning's at seven, The hillside's dew-pearled. The lark's on the wing, The snail's on the thorn, God's in His heaven, All's right with the world!"
Today, with apologies to Robert Browning, I present Pax Passes - Pax, of course, being the name bestowed upon our latest winter storm by the great minds at the Weather Channel.
My dogwood is icy,
My Edgeworthia's frost-bit.
My hollies are twerking,
The acuba leaf's curled.
My banana shrub's dicey,
The pine trees have split.
The power's still working -
All's right with the world!
Well, you passed Pax on to us up north. It has been snowing heavily all day and entire structures in my garden are simply not visible -- not just snow-covered but snow-buried and obliterated. I am glad all is right in your world -- we have power too, and food and don't have to drive anywhere, so all's right in the north world too.
2/13/2014 09:02:58 am
When you have heat and lights, you have it all.
2/13/2014 09:04:13 am
Don't worry - it's already melting. And in wasn't that much, really. As usual, it was the ice that caused all the problems.
2/13/2014 07:16:03 am
Pax has decided northern VA is a comfy spot and won't leave. We have a foot of snow and more on the way. The dogs are sleeping out the storm and I'm off school today and tomorrow. :) Do you think the banana shrub will make it? BTW- I grew up in CA in the 80's and never memorized that poem. But "No bathing suits' was part of our dress code, if that counts for anything.
2/13/2014 09:06:54 am
Oh good! Because we're heading up to DC this weekend for a wedding. I was starting to miss Pax, but now I don't have to. As for your childhood school, it sounds quite strict. "No bathing suits"? The nerve.
2/13/2014 03:42:57 pm
Since you're headed up our way,keep an eye on this website for accurate traffic/road conditions and other general wackiness: www.wtop.com.
2/14/2014 01:42:01 am
Thanks for the tip. We've made the trip many times (relatives in DC) and we always sail along until Northern Virginia. Then we crawl. And crawl. And crawl some more.
2/13/2014 09:08:30 am
I'm hoping too. It's already melting and my sky pencil hollies are now standing up straight. My biggest worry is the Edgeworthia. It's so close to blooming - I'd hate to lose the buds now.
2/13/2014 10:14:54 am
Love it!! Love the photography, love the poem.....well done!!! We have about 20 inches of snow so far up here in Dutchess County, New York and we're expecting the next phase of Pax to start soon. I happen to love it....lucky for me!! Stay safe and warm!!
2/13/2014 10:37:11 am
Thanks so much, Margaret. I took the pictures myself, since Ron was actually busy earning a living! 20 inches is a lot -you're in the right place if you like snow.
2/13/2014 02:53:20 pm
Ah, that is a nice rendition. Your sitting room does look very cozy. I hope the damage to the garden won't be too bad. Sounds like we'll have some warmer days next week. Yay!
2/14/2014 01:43:51 am
I'm most concerned about the Edgeworthia, which is my pride and joy. The banana shrub has straightened up by now, along with the hollies, so I'm hoping it will not drop dead on me now. Next week: 60 degrees!
2/14/2014 01:45:17 am
Thanks! I've been wanting to do a parody of Pippa Passes for some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
2/14/2014 01:47:46 am
How did you know? We sat there last night sipping wine and thinking, "Life is good." I'll worry about spring clean up next week, when the temperatures are supposed to get to the 60s. Hurray!
2/14/2014 02:29:56 am
Sarah, I hope the damage will be minimal! We haven't had any ice this winter, but March is still ahead...
2/14/2014 03:26:13 am
Thanks, Tatyana. I am cautiously optimistic that it won't be too bad. I am trying very hard to be philosophical about Mother Nature since there is not a thing I can do about her.
2/14/2014 05:28:57 am
It's been wild and crazy, definitely. I'm not sure "twerking" was really the best way to describe my hollies but you'd be amazed at how hard it is to find a word that rhymes with "working."
2/14/2014 07:08:42 am
I love that poem. My mum used to quote the last verse a lot, and I have never known where it was from, so thank you for that ! Oh dear, your pines look very sorry for themselves , is it the weight of the snow which split them or the force of the wind ? We currently have 2 huge trees down, waiting for a man with a chainsaw to log them, but one has fallen right on our beech hedge, and flattened a big section of it!
2/14/2014 07:24:54 am
My mother also loved this poem. It must be a "mother" thing! I'm not sure what happened with the pine - probably the weight from the ice and snow, rather than wind. There are pines down all over the neighborhood, but then, pines are such weaklings. We could use your man with a chainsaw right about now.
2/15/2014 12:19:24 am
Jason, I had to look up "The Highwayman" after your comment. It must not have been on the radar of the teachers in the White Plains public school system.
2/15/2014 10:14:46 pm
Sarah, I couldn't agree more. We had the same storm (or a version of it, not sure if it had the same name), and my biggest worry was the power. Of course, in past years living in or near DC was a bit like living in a third world country as far as reliability of the power supply went. But Pepco's recent mad spree to cut any tree that was remotely near a power line seems to have paid off. Or maybe it just never got that icy. The Pepco spokesperson did have the honesty to comment that "Mother Nature cooperated."
2/16/2014 03:27:26 pm
It is always amazing to me that major cities have such lousy power services.
2/16/2014 10:23:58 am
Twerking hollies? Someone notify the FCC, stat!
2/16/2014 03:24:33 pm
I hope the FCC doesn't mind. My banana shrub has been totally hardy here, but this is one of the first winters that has been a real 7b vs. 8a winter. It seems to have bounced back from the storm. It might be worth a try for you, in a sheltered spot. Once it gets big, it should be a little tougher.
2/17/2014 09:59:39 am
Ha! Ha! My exact words during our recent ice and snow storm, and the one redeeming factor for all of us, " the power's still working!" It makes a huge difference. Winter clings to us yet, but spring wants to get here; and we are anxiously waiting for it.
2/17/2014 12:23:02 pm
I'd go even further - it makes ALL the difference. Without it, you're miserable - there's no getting around it. But it's going to be in the 60s this week - hurray!
Yesterday the sun shone. I know, amazing. Because we hadn't had a frost for a week, and I was hallucinating because of all the light hitting my eyeballs, I hauled in all the blankets I'd had drapped over various plants. The weather gods couldn't believe it and immediately threw in another storm-no snow but I am going to have to go out in the wet and cold and redrape in case of killer ice..
2/18/2014 01:47:31 pm
Good luck! It's been brutal. Maybe I shouldn't be so optimistic that the worst is over. .
2/21/2014 06:51:21 am
I didn't know the Robert Browning poem at all and love your version of it. The twerking hollies made me laugh out loud! Your poor Edgeworthia! I hope it is okay. I don't have one, but I have read about its scent on numerous blogs. Sadly, I have quite a few branches down like your Pine limb. Stay warm!
2/22/2014 01:09:22 am
Thanks, Jennifer. I think the worst of the weather is over, but then there was a thunderstorm a few days ago. I've heard that many people down South believe that a winter thunderstorm always means that snow or ice is on the way within two weeks. Sounds bogus to me, but time will tell.
3/1/2014 01:16:49 am
We take it all for granted, but when it's not there, we realize how utterly dependent we have become on electricity and gas.
3/13/2014 08:20:23 am
Love the shot of S curled up!
3/13/2014 09:31:20 am
Thanks. He's cute, all right. Although I shouldn't brag about my "children."
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The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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