Unexpected Arrival

Spring is here. It’s nearly a month early, according to long time residents, but it’s very definitely here. The crocuses and daffodils are all long gone, and the tulips are either at their peak or on their way out, depending on where exactly in town they’re blooming. Spring is and always has been MY season. While I enjoy all the seasons, and especially feeling them change, spring just embodies my outlook on life – ever the eternal optimist. After all, how is Spring supposed to know that Winter won’t decide to return for a final, killing frost that will wipe out all her lovely leaves and flowers? She really doesn’t. So she gambles, and hopes, and tries, and even if Winter does return…she tries again. And she always succeeds – in some measure, if not the way she originally intended.

I am concerned about the early spring and the long-term effects, but right now I’m choosing to enjoy it rather than worry over it. This isn’t the first year it’s happened – the USDA has even released a new map of hardiness zones, with all of the zones moved northward and a couple new ones added in the south. Such a change is a bit frightening…but I’m trying not to overthink it. Mother Nature has survived for thousands of years (not going to think about all the extinct animals and plants right at this moment), hopefully some climate change won’t permanently cripple her.

This is a very bad picture of the lovely tulip bed at the entrance to our apartment complex. I didn’t realize at the time that I really should have walked a lot closer.

The view from up the hill there is also quite lovely. I wish I had more pictures of some of the bulb gardens scattered around Roanoke, but alas – I was usually just driving by when I saw them. One day I’ll have my own huge, sprawling flower beds filled with masses of riotously colored tulips and hyacinths – something that can express without words the glee and joy that fill my entire being at this time of year.

American Eastern Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis)

American Eastern Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The redbuds along the highway (and a few in town) are out. They’re especially lighting up the Route 81 between Roanoke and Christiansburg right now. The hills themselves are just now turning a sweet spring green. Last week they were just ever-so-slightly showing green through the winter brown. It’s amazing how fast they’ve changed. Green is everywhere. Green, green, green. There’s a reason it’s my favorite color.

There are oodles and oodles of these thorny bushes all around the edges of the apartment complex, in the areas that don’t get mowed. I’m hoping they’re raspberries or blackberries, and that they don’t spray them.

The air has that lovely over-winter quality to it now too. Even when it’s raining, which it has been, a lot. Oh, I finally bought an umbrella, much to my husband’s chagrin. It has polka dots. I’ve been able to enjoy standing outside without getting my face wet, breathing in the damp earthy smell that is a spring rain. It’s so very, very different from the bone-chilling rains of early winter. It’s a promise of growth, of new starts, of washing all the old away and welcoming in the new.

Book update for this past week:

21.  Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal (the lady who initiated the February Month of Mail Challenge).


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