Wednesday, May 02, 2007

May Day plus One


Number me among the folks who are astonished that April is finished.
I do love May Day though. I wish that filling baskets with flowers from the garden and leaving them on the doorknobs of friends and neighbors was still a tradition. More, I wish that I had the time to continue such a tradition.
At least the flowers in springtime are not rushed. It's a peaceful feeling knowing that cell phones and soccer practice and alarm clocks have no influence with any flower in my garden. My bulbs are aware of the earlier dawns and later sunsets as the season progresses away from the short winter days. The pansies and johnny-jump-ups set their blossoms as the daily temperatures gradually warm and my tulips quickly close if one of our typical Sierra snowstorms blows in. Patiently the dogwood sepals unfold, biding their time through false springs, blustery winds, and unexpected frosts.
Then May Day comes, the calendar changes pages, and the various garden residents all rejoice in the welcome warmth and celebrate the mercifully sunny day with an explosion of color.
My flowers are good teachers. I've learned patience as I plant a gallon-sized oak tree and been rewarded with increasing shade each year that makes my backyard a haven in the summer. I've been tolerant as I paid for the shade with more and more acorns sprouting in my lawn which I hand-pick diligently. Friendship has its price--the birch has beauty and catkins currently spread in every nook and cranny of my yard. Rhythm, the rightness of seasons, a time for the peonies to die back, a bounty of fresh sun-warmed peaches, a lone viola peeking through a snowy bed, the danger of a rose leafing out too soon and blackening from frost. A garden is a lot like life. It takes a bit of experimentation, a touch of serendipity, some advice here and there, a helping hand once in a while...
I enjoyed the warm weather much like my garden. I relaxed and unfolded some of my petals in the sun. I ignored the weather reports. Sometimes you have to live in the moment rather than dreading what the future holds. My flowers aren't worrying about tomorrow's projected storm and neither am I.