Saturday, March 13, 2010
Glimpses of Spring
In our little mountain town, the blooming of the daffodils is the first hint that spring may be peeking shyly around the corner of March. Much frost and even snow may precede spring's actual arrival in our little hamlet at 4000 feet above and 50 miles east of San Diego. The barren ground surrounding our house greens with tiny sprouting things--even though winter chill has not yet left the mountains.
The golden daffodils, stretching fragile necks forward to greet the sun, promise me that spring is indeed traveling in our general direction. As I sketch garden plans in my mind while huddled in front of the fire warming stiff, chilled fingers, I know that the yellow harbingers of spring wait for me just outside the front door, lining up in grand procession in my front flowerbed, facing the waning afternoon sun.
Tiny white buds opening on the spindly peach tree also bring the promise of warmer days and of afternoons in my garden, weeding and planting. In the last slanting rays of daylight, on this last day before we start saving daylight once again (yet another harbinger of warmer days), I unearth the metal clippers belonging to my great-grandmother and cut away the dross of last year's growth. Her love of flowers and beautiful gardens sing in my very DNA. The dry brown deadness I clip, seeing the beginnings of green at the base of the dead--this year's growth pushing through last year's. I quickly prune away the frozen remains of last fall from the flowerpots on our porch steps, thrilling to the unmistakeable signs of spring, my mind spinning with the herbs and flowers I wish to grow in them: snapdragons, lavender, rosemary, primroses, poppies, thyme, stocks (my favorite flower), and even the simple white alyssum that spreads with alacrity through my flower beds.
But the daffodils opening their sun-faces this week are the best promise of spring--a welcome change from the shivering cold of January and February, and, yes--even March and April, in this little chill town nestled in the lap of the high mountains surrounding us.
And the promise remains, whispered by the greening ground and the sunny daffs: spring is coming. It is promised.