Sunday, February 19, 2017

Inkling of Spring

Magnolia stellata 02/19/17
I had an inkling of spring.

In the garden today, while tearing down a bit of old fence, I had an inkling of spring, provided by my Magnolia stellata.  I had an inkling and I'm ashamed to say that my first thought, after having the inkling, was to wonder about the exact definition and origin of the word inkling.  You might think I should have been more concerned about the Magnolia, but such a straight-forward journey seldom occurs inside ProfessorRoush's attention-deficient mind.  It was inkling first, and then Magnolia.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary: inkling derives from the Middle English word yngkiling, meaning to "whisper or mention," and perhaps further from the verb inclen meaning "to hint at."   Okay, so now I know that even the linguists aren't sure of the origin of the word, but at least the definition is fairly straightforward, meaning "a slight indication or suggestion."  Okay, I got it, I had a hint of spring today.  If so, why didn't I just think "oh, there's a hint of spring?"  No, it couldn't be that simple, could it?  I had to make inkling my vocabulary word of the day.

Pussy willow 02/19/17
Returning our attention to the Magnolia stellata, however, it is important to understand that my inkling derived from the fact that it has decided to begin peeling off its fuzzy winter coat quite prematurely, enticed by a few days of warm sunny weather.  Those delicate buds are exposed far too early, no proper garments under the coat, just lacy undergarments exposed before full consent is obtained.  I fear that the cold spell predicted later in the week will send a chill deep into this flower's innards, an ill wind blown up its skirt.

Likewise, I also noticed that the pussy willow (sorry the photo is blurry) on the other side of the garden is showing a little fuzz at the end of its prepubescent buds, an enticing bit of maturity destined only to fall victim to the icy reality of this cruel world.  Why, oh why does everything want to hurry along at a breakneck pace of living in the garden?   You want to shout at them, "Hush little darlings, go back to slumber, it's far to early to grow up and bloom."  But, nay, they heed not, speeding towards the inevitable damage of a reckless youth and headstrong nature.

Now I have an inkling of disaster.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think we ever get a full showing of either of ours any given year because of how early it tries to bloom. Either the cold will hit it or a big rain storm will knock most of the blooms off.

    I'm worried all this warm weather now bodes for a hot summer.


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