Saturday, February 8, 2014

Zen Frog In Winter

Amidst the snow and ice of this ceaseless winter, ProfessorRoush needs to calm down and take a lesson from his Totally Zen Frog statue.  I took this picture standing in a snow drift up to my waist, at the end of a long afternoon digging the rest of our driveway clean from the storm that blasted us earlier this week.  Here, only a few feet away from the roses buried in snow, sits the contemplative frog, floating above the snow, untouched by the cold.   He doesn't care about Winter's fury.  He's imagining Spring, full-blown, golden with daffodils, glowing with sunshine.

In my garden, however, Zen Frog seems to be the only one who doesn't care about winter.  Even the ornamental grasses have lost their regal stature, bowed and broken in places from the heavy snow.  Those that remain standing seem mass-less now, shrunken from their previous Fall glory.  They struggle to keep their heads above the snow, straining to survive for winter's swan song.

The annuals and herbaceous perennials have long given up their ghosts.  This Prickly Poppy (Argemone polyanthemos) left only a dessicated and hollow carcass to serve as a grave marker, a spiny brown contrast to the white snow at its waist.   Isn't it an odd contrast that these lifeless remains represent also the hope of the next season, the missing seed from the pods spewed yon and hither to find earth and moisture?

I tried today, in a moment of fancy, to levitate above the snow drift and meditate with the Zen Frog, but I fell back to earth and snow with a crash of reality.  Encased in layers of clothing and caps, water-proofed to the ankles but wet at the knees, I must instead await warmth and sunshine with an impatient heart, for I cannot become stone and wait out the winter.  My lot now is to shovel, swear, and scowl out the windows until Winter fades back and Spring surges forth.


  1. Oh dear Professor Roush, that is a very heartfelt lament. I could give you platitudes like 'just around the corner..." and "the darkest hour ...", but I won't do that. Instead I will commiserate and agree that all looks forlorn and bare. From a mild but rainy UK ... it also looks FANTASTIC !!

    1. Rain, Jane? What is that? As much as I complain about all the snow this year, I am grateful for the moisture!

  2. Love your serene frog! But I understand your wailings. For some reason, this winter has seemed extremely long to me. And I'm not standing waist-deep in snow! Spring is coming, though, which makes me worry about being behind on gardening chores! I guess we all need a lesson from the frog!

  3. I'm not sure what's worse...winter without a break so it seems to never end...or the one balmy day we had here in central Texas yesterday amidst the days of "wintry mix" and 30-something temps. I breathe a sigh of relief, only to wake up to winter back again in full force. Glad to hear I'm not alone in my weariness of winter!

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