The seasons have such a profound effect on us all, from weather patterns and crop cycles to the ever-changing hours of light. This morning’s effect was doubly profound for me: the clock on my cell phone had sprung ahead overnight, catching me totally at unawares. I had missed the spring ahead to spring change for daylight saving time! This has happened only twice before in my adult life, but I had nothing on the agenda other than recovering from a marathon day of mulching the front garden beds. On such a beautiful day, the only regret I had for missing the daylight saving time was that I missed a whole hour of a perfect weekend…sigh. So, we decided to make up for it by taking a small road trip to let someone else make us breakfast.
And a small road trip it was: we went right down the road to Small B&B Café. This is a new restaurant in town – a much-needed addition to the small café culture in a community rich in arts and local food ways.
The Small B&B Café is in a colorfully refurbished Victorian. Open Wednesday through Sunday, they serve breakfast and lunch made from a wide variety locally sourced ingredients, a commitment that they take seriously: about 60% of their recipes are made with local products. This morning, they had local duck eggs, which made for a very bright egg sandwich and plate. The super large yolks of duck eggs definitely added a richer color and flavor to breakfast.
Another colorful dish was the outstanding Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes, which had a very cheerful yellow hue, as you might have guessed. The flavor was quite lively, as well, with the right amount of lemon for a bright note on top of the fresh taste of the ricotta. The floral scent of the Magnolia Oolong tea was a lovely match for this plate. A wonderfully bright way to start the day, indeed.
The morning continued to provide me with small wonders in little yellow packages. All around town, the daffodils are still in bloom, and forsythia has come on strong this last week. In my garden, yellow is starting to peek out around the different beds: Golden ragwort (Packera aurea) and Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) are budding, and even the Green-and-Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) is threatening to pop. Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) is blooming, too, with tiny purplish-brown flowers and bright yellow-green bracts (the roots really are the most yellow part, practically neon, but I wasn’t going to dig them up today just for a picture).
These were the very first specimens I acquired for my native plant garden, and each year they bring in the spring with quiet joy. As these are coming to bloom, the winter vegetable garden is coming to an end with a cheerful nod of yellow from the mustard greens – an early treat for the pollinators.
Since yellow is the color of hope, I truly hope today was a look at the small wonders to come in my garden this spring. I just have to remember not to miss another hour! Which brings me to my next favorite thought of early spring and the color yellow – the classic poem of impermanence by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay (retrieved from Poets.org, 3/11/2012):
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
The color yellow has had many different cultural meanings throughout the ages. Yellow is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *ghel-, which has several meanings, including to shine, to call or shout (as in Kalends, calendar), and, of course, yellow. It is not hard to imagine why early spring is linked to bright yellow and gold, as well as symbols of energy and new beginnings. Hope has a long-standing association with the color yellow, a history that is carried over from early Christian symbolism for light, purity, and renewal. In Hindu tradition, yellow is related to the third chakra Manipura, which is the chakra of the solar plexus, signifying vitality, energy, and achievement. In ancient Egypt, yellow represented eternity and Ra, the sun god. Dyes for yellow have been made since ancient times from minerals like ochre, an iron ore also known as limonite, as well as plant sources like turmeric, saffron, and weld or dyer’s broom (Reseda luteola).
More Links, Relative and Tangential:
Robert Frost reading “Nothing Gold Can Stay” [Ignore the video and just listen to the poet reading his own work – it’s the only hit I could find with the poet’s actual voice.]
in time of daffodils(who know, by e.e. cummings [One of my favorite of all times]
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, by William Wordsworth [Also known simply as “Daffodils”]
Yellow Days, from Tony Bennett’s album “Something” [Frank Sinatra made “Yellow Days” popular back in the day, but I like Tony Bennett’s version much better, just couldn’t find a video for it.]
Mellow Yellow, by Donovan [Can’t talk about yellow and add randomly related songs without including this one.]
In A Mellow Tone, Count Basie [Rhymes with “yellow”, definitely upbeat and cheerful for a “mellow” title, but Duke Ellington wrote it, so it has to swing:-)]
Spoonman, by Audio Slave [I couldn’t resist – the little spoon dude at Small Café has had me singing this song all day! It’s an official band video link, so you just have to suck up the few seconds of commercial.]
Spoon! Battle Cry of The Tick [I couldn’t resist this tangential association, either!]
Oldest discovery of dye-making site (100,000 years BCE – and that’s just a site confirmed for making dyes.)
– A Dash of Culture
Where Every Story Has Food and Every Food Has a Story.™