Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alas, Poor Spring--I Knew It Well...

(our front years past)

Spring usually peeks her comely face around the corner of the fence around mid-March. She may flit in and out of our small mountain town a few times in the month to come, often chased away by seasonal frosts and the occasional snow.

But this year spring has been extremely shy. Here it is, a week before June, and despite pansies and Sweet Williams in my porch flower pots, I am bundled in sweats and two cardigans with a space heater humming at my feet. The sun is weakly shining outside today, but the highs are forecast for the 50's and a slight chance of rain looms for the afternoon. Last week the temperatures dipped below freezing several nights in a row, and I was regretting the change from flannel to cotton sheets in our often too-warm-in-spring upstairs bedroom and wished for my down comforter. Reluctantly, the boys were back to hauling firewood and stoking the stove to keep the house above sixty each morning. Our high temperature on Sunday afternoon was in the 40's.

Fortunately, the delphiniums, Sweet Williams, lobelia, snapdragons, poppies, and larkspur that I've potted and tucked into flower beds thus far are all frost-resistant; I never plant my more delicate friends until mid-June when all chance of frost is behind us. This year, however, I may be waiting until July 4th to tote home cosmos, parlsey, cilantro, mint, and other assorted flowers and herbs. I love a wildflowery garden, mixing herbs and flowers into untidy borders, and I hope to do more with my little garden areas than I have in the past, mostly because our boys are big and strong enough to tend to the difficult work I can't do.

So spring hasn't fully arrived in our little hamlet which is nestled into a cozy valley halfway up the mountain, within an easy hour of San Diego beaches and another easy hour to desert dunes. Spring flirts with us still, beckoning with a come-hither look one day, then is completely obscured by threatening gray clouds and the sharp scent of snow the next. And we remain watching the uncomfortable tango as winter refuses to yield the lead and fade into the background, and spring seems too timid to whirl us into summer days....

Wrapped in sweaters and sweats, I wait for the dance to become one of decided passion and zing, declaring that spring is truly here to stay, bringing her beauty and sunshine to grace our little valley once more.

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