Spring did not disappoint this year. The pink dogwood we planted 25 years ago filled the view out the kitchen window with astounding beauty for more than a month. Often, after finishing a meal, having enjoyed the dancing branches wrapped in ruffles of pink, we offered a hearty round of applause and shouted, “Encore! Encore!”
Friends our age are leaving the homes where they’ve raised families, looking for something easier to maintain, smaller yards in particular —something you could mow with a few snips of kitchen scissors. We’ve entertained similar thoughts, wondering if we still need all this space, but we always come back to, “How could we ever leave the dogwood?”
Memories and a pink dogwood keep us tethered to home.
The flowering crabapple next to the driveway delivered a splendid show as well. It was a short run, but the crab always delivers a grand finale shedding pale pink petals that blanket the driveway, looking like the perfect walkway for a wedding. Unless you would have reservations about a ceremony under a basketball hoop with a Purdue backboard.
The bulbs bloomed capping things off with a fine crescendo. Crocus and grape hyacinth started with a low drum roll, followed by jaunty daffodils and tulips with wave after wave of saturated color. Tulips always give me greater appreciation for Tulipmania, the great Holland economic crisis of the mid-1600s. Wild speculation on tulip bulbs drove prices to such heights that one rare bulb could trade for six times the average person’s annual salary.
I could have been one of those fools at the front of the pack. “Yes! I will buy your ruffled apricot tulip bulb in exchange for our house, two horses, a wagon and all our wooden shoes!”
If you learn little else in this life, learn how to plant bulbs that bloom in succession. It will add beauty to the world and measurably improve your mental health.
Spring is God’s reward for enduring winter.
And now, here we are, spring fading into the past and summer knocking at the door. Summer is the season of anticipation. We eagerly await the slow bake of high heat in the backyard, poolside, on a beach somewhere, or standing next to a white hot grill, sweating bullets, barbecue tongs in hand.
We anticipate tomatoes fresh from the garden with juice running down our arms.
And corn – fresh sweet corn. Not the kind that is picked green, refrigerated and shipped in trucks; the farmstand kind so fresh from the field it steams and smells of sweetness the instant you pull back the husk.
We even anticipate that first summer rain, clouds that roll in, water the thirsty earth, then sail away as peacefully as they came, leaving not a trace of damage, destruction or fear.
I for one, anticipate catching naps in the hammock, studying clouds overhead and listening to frogs sing at dusk.
Perhaps what we anticipate most is that rare treasure of finding a window of time do absolutely nothing.
Welcome back, summer. We’re glad to see you.