February

FEBRUARY

 

Just as I begin to think yellow—

a bowl of daffodils

some lemons

a little girl’s braids

bouncing in a game—

 

along comes more snow

where brown fields lie fallow

barren trees just budding

remain bereft as old maids

shivering in shame.

 

I know that spring is capricious in these northern parts of the country. Winter never left the Chicago-to-Boston-wide swath of the Eastern Seaboard, according to the nightly news; but a mild spell in the Pacific Northwest encouraged dogwood buds and purple crocuses to appear two months early. Last week I discovered a small scattering of violets, rather miniscule, peeping from the bracken in my front dooryard garden when I pruned the peonies. Then, like a slap in the face, winter returned with a vengeance, albeit mostly without snow, just fine mist.

 The winter of 2017, on the other hand, was the snowiest on record, it was said, seemingly never-ending. Three months of the white stuff was enough to drive me batty. All I wanted to do was hide under a quilt during those long grey days and awake only after dark settled when I didn’t have to look outside and imagine myself suspended in whiteness. Eventually, the edges of snow began to shrink and expose a bit of bare ground I forgot was there all along.

 Today’s mist is just that—a misting of leaf and blade and branch surfaces, merely dampening the streets and tops of cars parked in driveways. The only white surfaces in my garden are the glass table tops on the back courtyard. That’s enough for me. Who knows what March will bring but more wind storms.

In the meantime, I’ve arranged faux orchids amid graceful birch branches that blew down in last week’s wind storm, standing them in one of my blue and white porcelain planters. They seem to add a breath of sweetness to stale winter days indoors—or is this sweetness the fragrance of a gardenia candle on the tea table?

 

 

 

Author: www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com

Celebrating just over fifty years of holy matrimony, I am blessed to be a mother of two and grandmother of seven. Much of my writing speaks to the culture and tradition of the Deep South, where I spent the first thirty-five years of my life before relocating to the Pacific Northwest. As a poet and essayist, I’ve published both online and in print media. I launched this INVITATION TO THE GARDEN blog the summer of 2017 on WordPress.com. I look forward to hearing your stories, too!

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