29 March 2013

Easter Bells And Other Things That Make Me Happy

I treated myself to a bunch of daffodils for Easter. They were only a couple of bucks - okay, $2.50 maybe - and they're so cheerful. Osterglocken, they're called in German, Easter Bells. I love Easter Bells, both the flowers and the items that toll in church towers. Hearing church bells is one of the things I miss about Europe. Every Sunday morning you hear them, and in many places every day at noon, to pray an "Our Father" and take your lunch break, and again at six or seven for quitting time, Feierabend - "celebration evening". There really is something festive about the sound of bells.

Church bells are impressive items. They're huge, for one, often as tall as an adult human, and they weigh a ton - literally. And up close, they're so loud they can kill you; at least that's what Dorothy L. Sayers says in The Nine Tailors, where Lord Peter barely escapes with his life when he is accidentally caught in a church tower while the bells are tolling. I believe her - I was on top of a church tower once when the bell struck the hour, and even though we were a floor or two above the bell (or below, I can't remember), we all stood there with our hands pressed over our ears, the noise was so painful. But bells have to be that loud, so they can be heard in the whole town. Else how would you know when it's time to go to church or take your lunch break, or when someone is getting married or buried or christened or anything else important happens? Church bells were the Twitter and Google Calendar of pre-technology days.
My lovage doing its spring thing

Over here in the New World, church bells are few and far between; I have never lived within the sound of bells here. But I do get to have the flower kind of Easter Bells, and they make me happy.

And on that note, some other things that make me happy are rhubarb, lovage, and chives - the first food crops that start poking their heads out of the ground. I love snow drops and crocuses, because they say that winter is nearly over and spring is here, but it's those green needles of the chive shoots and the red bump of sprouting rhubarb that put the full stop behind that statement. Winter is done. Now when I make soup I don't have to stint on dried lovage any more in order to avoid running out - the new crop is growing, and within a few months that lovage bush is going to be taller than I am and I'll be hacking back the celery-flavoured greenery to keep it from choking out its neighbours in the vegetable bed.

Rhubarb rhubarbing
Oh, and those of you who are still buried under ice and snow, thumb your nose at winter - he's had it. My rhubarb says so.

Life, the Universe, Easter Bells and Things That Make Me Happy. Have a wonderful spring!


  1. I bought daffodils two days ago - lilies may be more traditional for Easter around here, but nothing says "hope" and "life" to me like those lovely yellow blooms.

    Our seedlings are doing enormously well. Some of them are almost ready to be transplanted to their large pots. Hurrah for coming spring!

  2. It's also amazing how quickly they open to bloom. When I bought them, first thing in the morning, they were all still tightly closed; a few hours later almost all of them were open. What a transformation!