The American spring is like the country itself: abundant, rich, flowing over you like a full tide. ... Azaleas were suddenly ablaze. White dogwoods stood like brides in the wood - these trees of all colors were new to me; one does not meet them in Europe, and dogwood cannot even be transplanted to other continents. White and pink magnolias, yellowish rhododendrons, all of them lived happily side by side with our ordinary lilacs and lilies of the valley - the Russian symbols of spring.
He watched a catbird hopping around in an azalea that was readying itself to bloom; he envied the bird for knowing nothing of what he knew; he would have swapped souls with it in a heartbeat. And then to take wing, to know the air's buoyancy even for an hour: the trad was a no-brainer, and the catbird, with its lively indifference to him, its sureness of physical selfhood, seemed well aware of how preferable it was to be the bird.
Comely was the town by the curving river that they dismantled in a year's time. Beautiful was Colleton in her last spring as she flung azaleas like a girl throwing rice at a desperate wedding. In dazzling profusion, Colleton ripened in a gauze of sweet gardens and the town ached beneath a canopy of promissory fragrance.
Three weeks ago, he’d seen hail fall from the sky, only to be followed minutes later by a spectacular rainbow that seemed to frame the azalea bushes. The colors, so vivid they seemed almost alive, made him think that nature sometimes sends us signs, that it’s important to remember that joy can always follow despair. But a moment later, the rainbow had vanished and the hail returned, and he realized that joy was sometimes only an illusion.
A boy told me if he roller-skated fast enough his loneliness couldn't catch up to him, the best reason I ever heard for trying to be a champion. What I wonder tonight pedaling hard down King William Street is if it translates to bicycles. A victory! To leave your loneliness panting behind you on some street corner while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas, pink petals that have never felt loneliness, no matter how slowly they fell.
Cats are the slipperiest of domestic animals. Thousands of years of genetic coding has taught them to melt into azaleas, lie motionless behind garden gnomes, glide along fence tops, and slink under benches.
Looking out of my window this lovely spring morning I see an azalea in full bloom. No, no! I do not see that; though that is the only way I can describe what I see. That is a proposition, a sentence, a fact; but what I perceive is not proposition, sentence, fact, but only an image which I make intelligible in part by means of a statement of fact. This statement is abstract; but what I see is concrete.