Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Glimpse of Spring

Ssshhhh.  There it is.  Do you see it?  Be careful, don't spook it!  Yes, I'm referring to that pinkie-sized little burgundy-red bullet poking up from the cold, unforgiving ground.  Poor, brave little thing, the first sign of Spring 2016 has appeared in my garden.

I have almost forgotten the feel of warm wind on my face, the warmth of sunlight on my now dry and chapped skin.  It seems like an eternity since the last lightning graced the sky, since the Earth welcomed hot liquid rain to quench thirst and still dust.  You may have noticed my absence from this blog over the past 6 weeks.  My garden and I are strangers now, dreaming to be reacquainted like lost lovers torn apart by war, a civil war begun anew between North and South; only except this North and South are points of the compass and prevailing weather systems rather than quarreling political divisions.  

It's been a dry winter, the last rains ended before the ground froze. Afterwards only frequent frost and hoar to coat the ground and dormant grass.  We've had one snow, a few days of six-inch deep stillness, melted everywhere now except for the deepest north-faced exposures.  I've been lazy this winter, involved in work and in pursuit of hibernation, neglecting the colorful catalogs, unable to rekindle desire even from the most voluptuous and bountiful images of new roses.  The ennui of winter reigns my soul, sapping interest and energy.

But there, in the cold, Paeonia 'Sorbet' rises, slow and stiff and silent.   Somewhere, within the gardener's chest, a slow beat begins.  Lub...........Dub.............Lub...Dub...LubDub, LUBDUB.   Echos of the life without begin again within, a quickening ember fanned to low flame.  It will be weeks, yet, before the fire burns high, but at least I know now that it lives, that wish and thought and action will soon join again to dig and plant and nurture.


  1. I share the exact sentiments - beautifully expressed if I may say so! It only takes those first few signs of spring to kindle the flames of the fire, sometimes. I too feel a little estranged from my garden, but it is nothing that a sunny afternoon won't cure. The catalogues hold me in their thrall, however, and I am deeply immersed in planning for the new season. And the propagator is ON ...

  2. An early spring wouldn't be the worst result of Climate Change, would it?

  3. Another blogger I read just reported hundreds of crocuses up and blooming in her 6A yard in Indiana! Glad the gardening juices are beginning to circulate again for you, Prof. Here in the south land, I am trying to get some gardening begun before the heat and humidity strand me indoors for months on end. It's a different rhythm of gardening, for sure.

  4. I was out digging around in one of our flower beds today, moving some bricks around trying to divert some water runoff that's been threatening to bisect the bed and saw something already showing it's head. I'm not really sure what it is, since I just inherited this bed in the summer from another monk. It's been a strange Winter, with some very bone-chillingly cold days, and then what, 71 that they are calling for this week?

    As for the catalogues, I must confess I've had spring fever nearly all of winter and many of my seeds have been ordered and already have arrived. I checked on some of my tubers in storage today, too. I'm ready for Spring to come, I just am afraid it will be a false start this year that might take some plants with it!


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