One summer, my great-uncle’s girlfriend (go ahead. Take some time to absorb that . . . ) was consolidating and moving. She opened up her home and said to take what we wanted. There were lots of treasures, but I was most interested in her amazing collection of old, Reader’s Digest, hard bound books. Granted, I didn’t recognize a single title, but they were exciting to me nonetheless. I collected an armful of volumes that seemed interesting and took them back to the lake to investigate.
In the pile was a book about Anne Boleyn, one of Henry the VIII’s wives. Thrilling to the budding historian I saw myself to be, I started into it right away. Soon I realized that what I had in my hands was a real life romance novel.
It was scandalous. I didn’t finish it.
It’s still on the shelf at the lake, you know, in case you ever visit.
Anyway, the title of that book was “Brief Gaudy Hour.” It’s been on my mind this week as spring marches on. The chokecherries have, within a few days, flared up, burned bright and then were gone.
They come and go so quickly, lasting, it seems, for a brief gaudy hour.