This morning Handsome took Klaus and Lincoln outside a little ahead of me, knowing I had slept roughly or not quite enough. More heavy dreaming. When I eventually joined them on the south lawn with two cups of Perfect Coffee, the dogs rewarded me with much bouncing and circle running and more of those snoot-to-tail grins. I sat on the steps of the hot tub while my guy soaked in the chlorine-scented water. We drank coffee and played with the brothers. My heart relaxed and I stretched my bare legs in the fresh air.
The winds were calmer than yesterday’s, but the skies dark blue and thick grey, clouds low and heavy. We could smell the damp earth and promised storms.
Radishes are fully grown and popping out of the dirt. Romaine lettuces taking shape slowly, Hail Caesar. Kale rough and bumpy, deeply hued. Vines of squash and blackberry in different raised beds now boast those first tight buds that will become blossoms that will become fruit. Even the small Three Sisters bed is suddenly dotted with sprouts of corn, green beans, and squash.
Oklahoma had a slow start to springtime. We all analyzed the weather together every day, nervously. We traded coats for jackets and jackets for shorts and then scrambled for coats again. We planted our gardens and protected them from frost. We lost a few things and mourned them. Planted more things, grew seeds in the safety and secrecy of warm garages with artificial light. Many days even I felt the optimism was too forced. How many times did I insist, “This is it, it’s here now, we can relax!”
But it really is here now, this fresh new springtime, this burst of life for which we have all been yearning. And already it’s almost summer.
And that’s life.
Everything stays the same and we suffer through and hang on and encourage each other, believing ahead of time that things will change, that the Hard Stuff will get easier or lift away completely. We do everything we can to pave the way for miracles, celebrating ahead of time. Or we focus on getting stronger, on improving our coping skills and defenses against the elements.
But the Hard Stuff persists. None of it is on our schedule, no matter how we think things ought to be. We can rail against it all we want, these maddening delays and painful losses, but that only makes us angry and bitter.
And then one day it just happens. Life springs forth and all the seeds we have been planting grow into treasures more beautiful than we had dared hope. Some of the perennials, the life ornaments which we have learned to trust and treasure, unfurl and bloom more lushly than before. Still here with us. Just waiting for the right day. We have no control.
Thank you for reading, friends! Time for me to wrap up some morning chores and housework so I can get my miles in and scoot to the city for a day of gardening with my youngest.
You may already understand what a miracle this is in my life, if you know our family’s story. This time last year I was still protecting this particular hope secretly, in the safety of private prayer and hope and what some would call artificial growing conditions. Waiting, believing, despite the weather reports. The miracle was not on my schedule, but it was certainly worth waiting for. And now it is unfurling and blooming more lushly than ever.
I believe the same will prove true for much more in all our lives.
I wish you all the best as your springtime takes hold. I wish you the best warmth and nourishment, the best resilience, the best blooms and fruits after so many long winters.
“You may encounter many defeats,
but you must not be defeated.
In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats,
so you can know who you are,
what you can rise from,
how you can still come out of it.”