Yesterday, Laura and I headed out after breakfast for some time in the garden. Sure, we are moving in under a month, but the spring day was promising, we both enjoy the time outside in shlubs and garden gloves and the idea of giving this garden that has absorbed so much attention over the past four years is a blessing.
The good thing is seeing all the perennials that Laura planned out for the past two years, and all the plants that have come to us from various parishioners do their thing. Each little sight of something special is showing signs of new life. Some plants are pushing up through the brown leavings of last season's growth. Others, cleared by my slightly overly assiduous hands last fall, are breaking ground for what seem like the first time.
All the different shades of early green hint at what will eventually be, a garden for relaxation or hard work, for contemplation or for energetic investment of time and strength. Seeing lilies push up with little, light green curls is contrasted by the columbine showing itself in darker, almost clover-ish clumps.
At the center of our attention is the "rose" blooming right now (Christmas or Lenten, we dispute the name) that sits at the base of the sycamore, beside the requisite statue of St. Francis. For months, the slightly tired green leaves of the plant persisted through snowfall and ice of January and February and now at the center of that low cluster of old growth is new life. A half-dozen blooms that sit low to the ground and yet give a ton of character to the place. That one little plant, an early bloomer that came to us from the Benners as a gift, is the greatest sign of hope I have seen yet this spring beyond the pretty newborn eyes of the great-niece, great-nephew and cousin we got to meet on our trip last week to Michigan.It is no small coincidence that our experience of Easter, of Resurrection, should be couched in the time of first growth after a long winter. I am sure the sense of things is different in the Southern Hemisphere and in more tropical climes...but for me in my little corner of the North American continent, I give thanks for Easter's prelude this year, a symphony of little colors sung by croci, daffodils, jonquils and Christmas roses.