Monday, March 8, 2010

SIMPLE MAGIC

Time. Heat. Light.
How simple the formula. And all produced by a few hours of March sunshine.
Yet with these three ingredients comes something wondrous—a splash of color amid the brown leaves that instantly fills the eyes and warms the heart. A flower! Specifically, a purple crocus striped with white. Not just any crocus, mind you, but The Crocus—the premier bloom, the initial flower, the awaited first of its kind of the year.
Whether it's a daffodil or crocus, or something else. It's the first! Is there any garden flower more welcome, more anticipated? Nope, not in my book. There may be yellow winter aconites blooming up the road. Or white snowdrops in a neighbor's rock garden. But this fledgling crocus is special because it is yours—planted by your hand, grown in your soil, a gleaming spring-bright child of your loving labors. A gift of natural magic.
A vernal blessing which gladdens your heart.
——————

18 comments:

squirrel said...

WOW you have flowers already. I still have snow in most places. Nice photo.

Jain said...

Oh! Flowers still seem so far away! There's still plenty of snow on the ground here--and it's been here forEVER. I'm pretty sure I'll do my first-ever cartwheel as soon as I see some life in the yard.

Congrats on your first bloom!

Grace said...

I was able to identifiy the flower in the picture before I read your post--my flora and fauna knowledge is growing, yay!

Sadly, I imagine it will be a while yet before my first flower.

KGMom said...

Lovely.
I am looking for signs of spring anywhere I can find them!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Squirrel…

Actually, it is "flower," singular; I have a single crocus, and trust me, I looked the yard over—on the bank below the road, around the cedars, beneath the sycamores, in every shadowy nook and cranny where I might have succumbed to a wild hair and stuck a bulb. A lot of little green grassy crocus shoots are sticking up, because I've planted several hundred of the little buggers over the last three years; but only the one bloom for the moment.

But still…WOW!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Surely most of your remaining snow melted today. You'll have flowers by week's end—I predict.

As for those cartwheels—not only have I never done one (and God knows I tried and tried and tried) but I have reached the age of certain common sense, whereupon the mere crossing of such a notion through my mind sends klaxon horns of self preservation to yelping like turkeys. Any attempted cartwheel would certainly result in grievous injury to my precious, fragile and long-abused body, plus it's bold and comic failure would embarrass Moon the dog, send various riverbank critters into paroxysm of laughter, and earn vitriolic verbal censure and a swift kick from Myladylove for inexcusable ludicrousness.

Alas, you must celebrate with cartwheels on your own, though I will join in with a rousing cheer.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Grace…

I would poke fun at you for having to learn such a simple, common, distinctive flower as a crocus—except that I too had to learn such botanical things. And am still learning. And some I must be taught again and again before it sinks in and stays. And some I haven't yet got, and likely never will…which I've also had to learn.

Tramp said...

Your entry made me rush outside and check the garden but no sign of flowers pushing through yet.
I feel it's a bit like looking for stars in the evening, once you see one you start to see more and more. Spotting that first one is the problem.
Although most of the weekend snow has gone the temperatures have been very low.
Meanwhile indoors, the twigs we brought home about 10 days ago are bursting into leaf and a cherry twig is even flowering.

Wanda said...

I haven't spied a crocus YET, but this morning I did have a flock of Robins sail in over my head to land a few feet away, while taking photos of the beautiful sunrise. We had a few Robins linger all winter in a patch of thick shrubs by the creek, but this was the first group for me to see scratching in the dirt. Spring already, you think?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Yup, me too. And for me, flowers are, more than almost anything else, the one true seasonal indicator.

(Oops! I wrote this reply to your comment last night, just before midnight—and apparently failed to publish it before I toodled off to bed. Sorry. Either lurking senility or muddle-headed exhaustion, take your pick.)

Gail said...

HI GRIZ

"Firsts" are always so magical even when a 'first' is a repeated 'first' season after season - there is something SO promising and traditional and hopeful and life-giving in 'firsts'. flower, snow, full moon, storm, sunrise, sunset, blue sky, nest, 1st day of fishing, first kiss, first love, first lovemaking, first loss, first birthday, oh my, the magic of 'firsts' is endless. "thank you" for prompting such magic this day.

Love to you
Gail
peace.......

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

Good analogy, and true. I've looked around the yard this morning, but nothing to add…so far. However, it is sunny and heading into the mid-50s˚F, so who knows about this afternoon?

This has been the first real protracted warming spell we've had. Only a week ago I was getting up to 16˚F mornings. (What's that—something like 9˚C?) And there are still snow/ice patches around, though not many. It's been years since I brought in budded branches to force—but I ought to do a few, even now, just for fun.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I started seeing flocks of migrating robins appearing around here more than a week ago. So far, none of those flocks have ended up in my yard. There are always a few robins that hang around all winter long, usually in the thickets.

Do I think spring is here? Depends on your definition. The skunk cabbage has, I'm sure, been blooming back in the soggy corners for a month. Then there was last week's winter anconites—bunches of 'em and the patch is even bigger now. And of course yesterday's first crocus.

Still, as encouraging as this is, I sort of adapt that verse in Matthew: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Snowdrops and winter anconites, a single crocus—lovely, but no cigar. One patch of one species of wildflowers is nice, a foretaste, but not spring. However, when I can see two or three different wildflowers on a woodsy hillside…ahhhh, then I believe and accept. I know, no matter what the calendar says, spring is in our midst.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

You are absolutely right—"firsts" are important, including those annual "firsts." First snow, first wildflower of spring, first smallmouth bass, first turning of first maple leaves come autumn, first northbound warbler, first frog harrumping into the night, first buzzing cicada of July. We mark the turn of our years, our seasons—and our lives—by these firsts. That's one of the thing I so enjoy about living where seasons are seasons—the annual cycle of firsts. And they all do carry their sort of natural magic.

Jayne said...

Awwww, it makes a gardener so proud to see the fruits of their labor! Can't wait to see my bulb garden in full bloom. Oh, the anticipation!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

When I moved here, there was one spindly, long-neglected rose bush about eight inches tall in mid-June, with canes half the diameter of a pencil, no buds, and fewer than a dozen ragged yellow leaves…and that was it for flowers or flowering shrubs on the entire acre! And by all rights, that poor rose ought to have been given a decent burial.

I kept the rose, trimmed and nurtured it, managed to coax a single small bloom from it before the year's end. Plus I also began planting (and I'm still planting) trying to achieve a "cottage garden" look, that sort of lush and ragged abundance, lots of different stuff—heights, textures, colors—which is what I thought a stone cottage beside a river deserved and needed, and the look I like most. I'm particularly fond of old-fashioned plants—"heritage" plants that, to me, are just the old familiar stuff everyone had in the gardens and around their houses when I was a kid.

My efforts included, that first fall, putting out some 400-plus spring-blooming bulbs. Which is about the number I've put out every autumn since. I've always been found of daffodils/jonquils and crocus, particularly crocus. I can't resist them and intend to buy or beg every one I can and sticking them out hereabouts, because I love seeing them come up and herald the spring.

So yeah, I'm with you, and can hardly wait for spring to see all my bulbs bloom!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Lovely little cups of spring ahead visions. There was a house near where I used to live that had planted crocus in their lawn so long before the grass began growing again, their "lawn" was a blanket of crocuses. I used to drive out of my way just to see them and smile.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Teri…

I've seen lawns filled with crocuses, too—and I love 'em! I love crocus anyway, anywhere, any color. I've also seen lawns naturalized by daffodils, snowdrops, or anconites. That's why I keep planting bulbs. I'd be happy if they took over my lawn every spring and dazzled me with color.