My Scots Broom is blooming giving me hope…and activating my allergies. I’ll take the allergies. Spring is right around the corner…a blind corner. Approach with caution! I don’t know what might be waiting for me on the other side, what cruel trick might be played by Mother Nature. I don’t care, I have a wonderful and sunny seventy-degree day waiting for me in my little piece of heaven.
Crocus and daffodils are waking from their winter nap, pushing toward the sun and the red tail hawks that circle above. Two mating pairs climb in the thermals, whistling to each other in a language only they understand. Are they as happy as I am to feel the warm sun?
These are sure signs of spring as are the gold and purple finches putting on their spring colors. Nests are being built awaiting tiny eggs that will help continue the species. Their yearly mating ritual has begun. Mother Nature renewing herself despite all of our efforts to destroy her.
It has been a hard winter…in a lifetime of hard winters, I guess. I planned to do much. Unless I am mistaken, I have accomplished nothing except staying clear of Covid and getting my vaccinations. Isolation has not helped my melancholia. When I did have a flush of adrenaline my sciatica grabbed, flushing my rush down the toilet, adding more fuel to my winter depression.
I am reminding myself of my Grandmother. My Nannie would disappear into the depths of depression as the days shortened, robbing her of available sunlight and keeping her from the outdoors she loved. The short, cold winter days left her peering out of her window at the world. She described her malaise as “feeling a bit blue.”
Her rock garden lay darkened and wilted, as dark as I’m sure her thoughts were, and had her thumbing through her seed catalogues and the almanac. I no longer wonder about her effort to be functional. I wonder why I even get out of bed somedays. Functionality is sometimes evasive. I plod on doing nothing.
Not today, or even yesterday…or the day before. Three days in a row in late February to die for as I write this. Deep blue, cloudless skies. After crisp mornings, sunny days and seventy degrees. I went forth and was productive.
It is gray this morning, with impending rain forecast for the next few days. The price you pay for three days of celebration. The price is much like the hangover you might expect from too many shots of Jack Daniels as your merrymaking runs off the rails. I was able to walk despite my metaphorical hangover and late arriving rain. As I looked into the gray sky a red tail flew by and lit in a nearby tree making me smile.
I have made a small dent in my yard work, but every trek begins with a step…or with the swing of a machete. It has left me with hope to battle my depressing hangover. Hope that I might bloom with the spring flowers.
My bride likened my grandmother to the spring flowers. Late in her life we wondered if she would survive the winter and then like the daffodils or crocus, she would burst from her depression as they burst from the ground. I hope I am like my grandmother although I wonder what flower I might be. I’m sure the flower that is me has thorns and few blooms.
Here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge we have bipolar seasons. Short fall seasons, some years summer jumping straight into winter. On the other side of the equinox, our brief springs are dotted with spring flowers, sometimes pushing out of March sleet and two-inch snowstorms. Many days we have all four seasons rolled into a twenty-four-hour period. Polar wear in the morning, flip flops and tank tops in the afternoon.
The breezes of April will quickly roar into the simmering heat and humidity, thunderstorms and tornadoes, yellow jackets, and clouds of mosquitoes. Something to gripe about other than the cold winds of winter. I’ll take the heat because with it comes those long days of sunshine. No more seed catalogues, actual seeds going into the ground. Sunflowers reaching for the sun.
So, I’ll cherish these three perfect days of early spring. There are more crystal blue skies coming…sandwiched between the gray, cool, wet skies of the fading winter and the anvil topped thunderheads to come. Such is life, I guess. I will long for the perfect days of an early spring and celebrate when they arrive.