Spring has sprung in the cornfield. At least, it did for a while, persuading the daffodils and magnolia trees to bloom, before playing a bit of a joke on the tender buds, leaving them freezer burnt and desiccated after a frost. Or maybe it was the early spring that was the joke, one that both the flowers and I fell for, as we all desperately turned our faces to the sun, eager for the warmth and promise that it brings.
I don’t regret that spring has retreated back behind the curtain of March, lamb-like though it remains. Seasonal norms have me sad for my blooms but glad to instill just a tiny bit of hope that our earth is not quite as badly damaged as I believe it to be. That hope, of course, is just a bedtime story I tell myself, because I have small children and I want a beautiful world for them.
I didn’t expect the scores of daffodils to emerge in the garden on the southern side of my house any more than I expected the hyacinth in the western corner, under the walnut tree, where robust and hearty hostas ruled when we arrived last August. In fact, every shoot, every bud, every bloom is a new and welcome discovery, possibly because it means that there is finally something newer here than me. Sure, they were here last spring before me, but this is our first chance at acquaintance. The hand that waters them is now mine, so we get a chance to forge a new bond. Hopefully, they will be more receptive to my friendly advances than the flowers in the schoolyard.
Tulips are up as well, the pretty ones with the stripes on them, and I am grateful for the meandering dark green leaves of the vines on the ground, surrounding the magnolia and the ash trees, and hiding the remnants of last fall’s soggy, decaying mulch.
I wish the magnolia trees had been just a tiny bit more patient. Their brown, withered petals, literally flash frozen, open and vulnerable, feel foolish, and remind me too clearly of how quickly and easily beautiful things can go away.