Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Color of Spring

My first day back in the garden in spring sets my spirit soaring along with my allergies. My friends ask me why I do it, why I dig, and shovel, and sneeze. I can't give a valid explanation. I think there must be something in my psyche that pushes me out the door and holds me captive till hunger and thirst force me to resist. I find it miraculous that soil and sun can produce the flush of anticipated new growth that I waited for all winter long while I wondered whether or not my wait would be in vain. But come spring, when buds poke through the dirt where I planted bulbs just after Christmas, I realize the foolishness of my concern.

I remember how cold it was the day I dug into the garden's hard clay soil, made nearly impenetrable by November's blustery winds and December's sudden freezes. Bulbs can't be planted in October in north Texas as early as they're planted in other parts of the country where winter comes in its proper time. In north Texas one must wait till the end of our extended autumn when the last warm fall day is finally chased away by a final Blue Norther that turns the sky indigo with a wind fierce enough to suck the breath right out of you as it singes your face. That's when the bulbs go in.

I wore a tightly knitted wool ski cap that I pulled snuggly over my ears and down as close to my eyes as I could and still see. A wool scarf wrapped around the neck of my jacket and heavy garden gloves covered my hands so the only parts of my body exposed to the elements were my nose, my lips, and my cheeks. And when the wind whipped out of the north my nose ran, my lips chapped, and my cheeks burned. Planting bulbs is often a dirty nasty business but somebody has to do it. And I took great pleasure in the doing because I believe in miracles, that in just a few months my efforts would be rewarded with yellow daffodils, red tulips and lavender hyacinths.

And now I delight in yellow daffodils that light the way to where tulips announce their presense with bold red petals and hyacinths create a lavendar blanket along the edge of the bed. All too soon the days will continue to warm till the temperature reaches 100 degrees and the red and the yellow and the lavendar will be no more. But on my first day back in the garden in spring the winter just past is a mere memory and the heat of a coming summer sun will be ignored. Today is my day to enjoy the miracle of the yellow, and the red, and the lavendar.


Blogger Jackie said...

Apparently I'm not the only one who has not been doing her WAG adventures. I should get points for trying this week, however. I tried. Really I tried. But I got disgusted by the fact that I just couldn't remember enough details about people I observed. Grrrr. Makes me angstified. Angst is my word this week. I will use it in many different forms. I will not, however, be able to describe anyone I have seen, even if they were interesting. All things dissolve into a blob of generic memory. Yuk. Angst.

5:19 PM  

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