Stepping Out: The First Bloom

I have been seriously gardening for almost 20 years, and yet I never tire of the surprises and gentle trowel-fulls of wisdom that show themselves in the practice.

Here is picture I took two days ago a small shrub my husband and daughter gave me last Mother’s Day (I wish I had made a note of its name).  This is the one bloom that has made an appearance so far.  Something about this tiny delicate flower amidst a tangle of  silent stems spoke to me.

Yes, that’s right.  I’m ready.  It’s my time.  Y’all comin’ or what?  No?  Maybe?  Well, OK.  Hope to see you out there.  I’m going!

The Hardscape Sculpture’s Last Days

 Winter is on the way out.

While it’s not politically correct, I confess I’m a little wistful about the departure of the cold, hard, linear beauty of the winter garden.

Something in the sculpture of the December to February landscape appeals to me as much as the softness of spring and the vibrating energy of summer.

It’s the same reason I have the desire to spend hundreds of dollars some day on a whale vertebra.  It’s why I love moose antlers and deer jaw bones and even looking at human skeletons sometimes.

The framework of life is strong.  It lasts well beyond the decay of frail leaves, skin, flower, blood.

The knowledge of age is that every tender shoot is to be enjoyed and cherished, but understood as temporary.  

Roots, rocks, branches, trunks….these remain.

I look forward to winter as its own type of spring, for I miss the outlines of life when they are covered for months in fluffy growth and thick blossoming spirals.

It is true – the fragrance of lemon thyme is intoxicating, the bite of chives and oregano welcome flavors in daily living soon.  They make the absence of clean cold air in my nose acceptable, and even allow me temporarily to forget how incredible that feeling is.

In winter, all is sleeping.   Life is resting, renewing, preparing.

The birds are focused, grateful and sincere in their visits to my feeder.  I still feed them in the summer, but they just come by for kicks.  In warm weather the berries and seeds are abundant, insects are plentiful, and every living thing is goofy with sunshine filling its eyes.

Life is poised on the edge of warmer, lusher days.  The garden is also not far from a time of spending, burning, headed inevitably to the lean hardscape sculpture of winter.  

I’ll miss you, beauty……..see you in about nine months.

Images credit: All photos by E. Gaucher, February 26, 2011