A Light Exists in Spring

Happy Mother’s Day!

This post is dedicated to my mother, Frances, on this special day.

Butchart Gardens, Spring 2022

Last week, Frances, Sarah, and I visited Butchart Gardens located on Vancouver Island. It rained most of the day, bestowing a soft and gracious mist to the Gardens. The cool humidity of the day enhanced the diverse shades of trees and greenery. The rain added vibrancy to the more than 185 different varieties of tulips scattered throughout the grounds, lining the pathways with spring exuberance.

Emily Dickinson’s poem, A Light Exists in Spring, came to mind as I walked the pathways. The rain gently tapped on my “Butchart Gardens” umbrella specially made with clear plastic to allow me to look upward to the cherry blossoms.

Thank you for joining me virtually at Butchart Gardens, on a rainy afternoon in Spring.

Butchart Gardens, Spring 2022

A Light Exists In Spring

By Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.

It waits upon the lawn;
It shows the furthest tree
Upon the furthest slope we know;
It almost speaks to me.

Then, as horizons step,
Or noons report away,
Without the formula of sound,
It passes, and we stay:

A quality of loss
Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a sacrament.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Lifestyle Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

45 thoughts on “A Light Exists in Spring

  1. What a wonderful looking garden and a lovely dedication. Over here we celebrate Mothers’ Day a little earlier (in March).


    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have the most wonderful way of creating art in comments, Graham. Fabulous! My mother, Frances, introduced me to poetry. “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson was the first poem I memorized and recited. The Butchart Gardens is still owned by the founding family. The managing director is the great-granddaughter of the couple who saw a garden before it was a garden.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I would love to see the Butchart Gardens in winter, Mandy. I understand that there is a skating rink, and the colours and lights of seasonal celebration create a festive atmosphere. The light does change over the season, even as it changes during the day. Just as we left the gardens around 4:00pm, the sun came out and the garden took on a new look. Quite amazing!!

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  2. Such a beautiful reading, Rebecca, with a most colourful and awe inspiring setting.
    This must have been a wonderful time spent with your mother, Frances, and Sarah. Joys to keep close to the heart always!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Many thanks for joining me virtually at the Butchart Gardens, Carolyn. The history of this amazing place evolved with the story of Robert and Jennie Butchart, who created the gardens and called their home “Benvenuoto.” I understand that they would serve tea to all that came, invited or uninvited, until so many came that it was impossible for them to continue. In 1915, tea was served to over 18,000. Can you imagine!! I understand that Jennie was adventurous who enjoyed ballooning and flying. She later became a qualified chemist. And this was back at the turn of the 1900’s.

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      1. I read an article that covered the earliest beginnings of the garden. As you probably know, it was originally created by Jennie to hide the quarry pits created by Robert’s limestone business enterprise.
        What a wonderful couple they must have been. Thank you for introducing me. I thoroughly enjoyed the Butchart family history.
        And yes, what a formidable woman she must have been!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sorry for the late response, Carolyn. Somehow your comments when into the spam folder!! YIKES! I agree Jennie was an formidable woman!! From certified chemist to master gardener – what a legacy!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks for joining me virtually at Butchart Gardens and for your best wishes for Mother’s Day. Emily Dickinson was an outlier who was misunderstood in her time. I understand that the 10 poems that she wrote that were published were heavily edited to fit the rules of poetry of that age. The very same rules that Emily Dickinson purposely broke. As well, they were never published under her name. The more I read Emily Dickinson’s poetry, the more I am inspired by her remarkable ability to ignite an emotional response.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow! What a beautiful garden. I think I would have to walk through it holding my breath at every turn. I love your reading of the Emily Dickinson. Her poem perfectly articulates my own experience of spring. With all the changes in our New England landscape since her time, the spring she describes has remained a constant.

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    1. I am delighted that you joined me virtually at the Butchart Gardens. In 2004, The Gardens were (there are 6 gardens in total) were declared a National Historic Site of Canada. It all started out in the early 1900s when Robert and Jennie Butchart moved to Vancouver Island. On their honeymoon in England, Robert learned the process of the manufacture of Portland cement. The Burcharts moved to Vancouver Island where limestone, an ingredient of this cement, was found. By 1908 the limestone ran out, leaving a gigantic pit near their home. That pit became the Sunken Garden. What started out with one innovation transitioned to something that was unanticipated. Life has interesting twists and turns. I agree – Emily Dickinson captured the essence of spring light!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. A visit to the Butchart Gardens is unforgettable, isn’t it, Marian. Did you rub the wild boar sculpture? The snout is shiny so I know there are many who have rubbed it for good luck, similar to the Il Porcellino in Florence. I understand it was purchased on a trip to the Mediterranean in 1973 and was originally cast in Florence by Ferdinand Marinelli Artistic Foundry. One day we should meet for High Tea at Butchart Gardens. Many thanks for your visit and your lovely comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t remember rubbing the boar’s sculpture, but I have vivid memories of the scenery. I especially enjoyed the Japanese Garden. (By the way, my computer has been acting up, so it’s been a while since I visited here!)

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      2. The Japanese Garden exquisite and, especially so in the rain which brings a special light to the greenery. Sorry to hear about your computer. Every day, when I turn on the computer, I breathe a sigh of relief when it comes on without any problems!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful garden and recitation, Rebecca. Such a poignant poem and opposed, in one sense, to her “There’s a Certain Slant of Light” about winter’s light. This one is quite welcome! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Mary Jo, that is a most profound poem, one that I will be reciting in the coming winter months.

      There’s a certain Slant of light,
      Winter Afternoons –
      That oppresses, like the Heft
      Of Cathedral Tunes –

      Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
      We can find no scar,
      But internal difference –
      Where the Meanings, are –

      I find that “winter light” comes in several forms for me, especially since most of my youth was spent in Northern Manitoba where daylight was short and sometimes thin during the long winter months. That was when I realize the indoor “internal” light of “winter” sustained me. Reading by lamplight, dining over candlelight are unforgettable moments, especially as the dark nights and winter storms were held in abeyance.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Butchart Gardens stands as a testament to creativity and determination. What started out a home garden evolved and transitioned into a Canadian icon known throughout the world. The legacy of the Butchart family continues to delight close to 1 million visitors each year. The children and grandchildren have carried forward the legacy and continue to be actively involved in the management of the gardens.

      Jennie Butchart was indefatigable! The Sunken Garden was originally a limestone pit that had run out of limestone. When trees she planted which were intended to hide the scarred pit, did not work, she came up with another idea. Why not use English Ivy? Without any hesitation, the lowered herself from the top of the cliff in a bos’n’s chair, secured by workmen with ropes. (Can you imagine their angst!?) Sitting in that precarious position she planted springs of English Ivy in every barren crevice in the limestone wall. She was not afraid of heights!!

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    1. I am delighted that you joined me at the Butchart Gardens, Resa. We had hoped for a clear day, but found that the rain made the garden colours come alive with mystical energy. I want to explore more of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and life. Can you imagine that virtually none her poems were pushed as originally written until the mid 1950’s. Sometimes it takes us a long to understand creative endeavour.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for selecting this beautiful poem, a very favorite of mine, and so good to hear you recite it! ! The poem has its own message, and your reading of it brought new value to the words. It is good that you used the colorful background video of the gardens, so appropriate! Our visit to this beautiful place was a memory not to be forgotten! I will remember the beauty and the valuable time and fun shared by our family always! !

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    1. I am so grateful for our visit to Butchart Gardens this past week. I think that the rain added to the enjoyment. Loved those clear plastic umbrellas that let us look up as it through a window.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful to see your comments, Klausbernd. I am delighted that The Fab Four of Cley joined me virtually at the Butchart Gardens. I read that every year, 300,000 bulbs bloom in Spring. As the Spring approaches, gardeners begin to “tickling” the soil to break up the compacted earth. At the same time the rose and hydrangeas are pruned. I met up with a gardener who said that there was a lot of greenhouse activity happening in preparation for the Summer Season. I especially enjoyed spending the day with my mother, Frances, and sister, Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Many many thanks for joining Frances, Sarah, and me at Butchart Gardens, Linda. Have you noticed that gardens always prompt us to think in terms of poetry words?. The colours, the vibrancy, the joy of breathing in the scents of spring is truly exhilarating.

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    1. I am so glad that you joined Sarah, Frances and me at the Butchart Gardens. When I read Emily’s biography, I am reminded of today’s benefits of being able to share and publish as an Indie author/poet. Sending many hugs along with my thanks for your lovely comments.

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