Yesterday, dazed New Yorkers stumbled out of their gray caverns and wondered why their scarves and polar-quality mittens were suddenly so itchy. Those of us in the suburbs wandered outside, confused by this bright yellow thing in the sky and by the fact that the wind no longer appeared to be trying to kill us. The collective relief prompted many to fall to their knees and weep, much as one might do after trudging through the desert and finding an oasis that is not a mirage. It was 60 degrees.
I found myself sitting outside on my steps dumbly, my eyes closed, my face to the sun. It was a GREAT idea to take a week off from work for my book launch, because I’ve been able to handle a million book launch details that would have otherwise totally overwhelmed me. But the unexpected bonus was that I was able to kneel next to my iris rhizomes for long periods of time and wipe dirt away from them, exposing their tops to the sun and marveling at their resilience. I felt all my stress soaking into the warming earth.
Then I went to my local plant nursery and visited the half-empty shelves. Just being there made me happy. The guys who work there all know me (it is my worst vice, plant buying) and I talked to my favorite one who always points out the recently arrived plants and places things in my car trunk so carefully. I asked how his winter had gone and he just shuddered. Then he told me the pansies are coming this weekend.
I perused the shelves to see what was there by way of fertilizer (worm castings bring me joy) but held off on purchasing because tomorrow it’s supposed to go down to 19 degrees overnight. Like the guy who breaks your heart, comes back and makes you feel like everything is going to be okay, only to twist the knife in a little further, nature is poised to mete out one last blow. (Or one hopes it’s the last). Still, yesterday reminded me that it doesn’t matter. Spring comes eventually.