O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.
~Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
But, but, but, it’s just way to early for spring’s “ethereal madness” and the green things growing. The day after my knee surgery at the end of February last year, it snowed and then three days later when I came home from the hospital it snowed again. Our last average freeze date isn’t until March 15th, and there have been times when a hard, late freeze or an ice/snow event have occurred even as late as April 1st. So what’s up with this crazy weather? I love springtime and I’m always thrilled when it arrives, but this is just too soon for it to come. Thank goodness I got started earlier than usual on cleaning up and weeding the beds because we virtually had no winter to speak of. Also I’d already gotten the roses pruned and ready to go. But then since roses are supposed to be fed when they are leafed out and most of mine are almost leafed out already, what do I do now? If I go ahead and feed them, they’ll really get going, and a late freeze could kill all the new growth and set them way back. I’m also concerned about the ducks that winter at our neighborhood pond since I noticed last week that they’ve left already. It’s too early for that too. They could end up getting their little derriere’s frozen off by returning too soon to their northern homes because Old Man Winter and Jack Frost may have high-tailed it out of Texas, but that doesn’t mean they’ve closed up shop elsewhere.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly–and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
Spring’s cup is indeed being filled regardless of the date and time, and it’s fire has begun to fling off winter’s garments. As well the bird is on the wing. I know this because I’ve been watching them for at least a week or two refurbishing birdhouses or feathering nests. So it looks like I’m going to need to pray for their sake and for sake of all the green things growing that winter doesn’t come back for a last hurrah!
See! The winter is past… ~Excerpt from Song of Songs 2:11 ✝
There be delights that will fetch the day about
from sun to sun and rock the tedious year
as in a delightful dream …for a garden is Arcady
(a region of rural simplicity and contentment)
brought home. It is man’s bit of gaudy
make-believe – his well-disguised fiction
of an unvexed Paradise – a world where
gayety knows no eclipse…
~Edited lines by John D. Sedding
Shhhhhhh! Do you hear it? Okay, okay, try again. Listen carefully! Did you hear something this time? Did you? If not, did you see anything different? Surely with the vernal equinox only 4 days away, you’ve heard and seen the come-hither voice of springtime and the early signs of it that daily grow more visible and audible. In my yard and elsewhere birds are aflutter and atwitter as they bring nesting materials to birdhouses; colorful crocuses, upright and abloom, chant lovely, little ditties; green perennials whisper quiet anthems as they rise from wombs beneath the soil in search of light and warmth; iris spears that were cut back in the fall now stand tall again offering up gladsome refrains; busy, buzzing bees scurry about in search of nectar and pollen; swelling buds on cherry trees whisper pretty, pink ballads; and on and on go the sights and sounds that make the human heart leap as the faithful promise of Spring materializes once more.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Psalm 6:11 ✝
Is it winter? Is it not?
Is it cold? Is it hot?
The two-headed Janus knows not.
Where I live unseasonable warming trends often occur in January, and when the month keeps its “box” open-ended long enough, some things in the garden are duped into thinking it’s time to get going. If the lie that spring is upon us continues on into February, that month as well is made a partner in the deceiving treachery. Then when the wintry weather falls back into place and worsens, as it nearly always does, the new growth is the innocent victim of the two traitorous libertines. Such is exactly what happened last year when they were finally exposed as the charlatans they were by a mid-February ice storm. After weeks of mild weather, frigid rain descended from a whitish cloud cover blown in on arctic winds. As the temperatures fell from the 70’s and 80’s to well below the freezing mark and everything became encapsulated in tombs of ice, an almost audible death knell sounded. For days the sun was unable to burn a hole in the clouds, and while the storm’s icy bite endured, the birds who over winter in my yard were, if visible at all, seen only in the mornings. When they were present, I’d see them huddled close to their birdhouses or in the bay tree or azaleas near the house, but by afternoon they’d have disappeared completely into the day’s dismal gloom. Neither did I see any of my neighbors nor the squirrels who’d been so busy as of late, and that collective absence of life forms led to a disturbing sense of aloneness that I did not like at all.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. Psalm 57:1 ✝
Spooky wild and gusty;
swirling dervishes of rattling leaves race by,
fleeing the wildflung deadwood
that cracks and thumps behind.
White, the world is still white, very white and very frozen! And the only movements I see out my window this morning are leaves fluttering to the ground and birds coming to the feeders for breakfast and the bird baths for water. Sadly all the birdbaths are so frozen that no matter how hard they peck at the ice, there’s no water beneath it to be had. So after putting in enough chair time to be fully awake, I braved the cold and took them a bowl of water. As I inched along on the frozen ground, I noticed that some of the fallen leaves from the red oak were striking lovely poses wherever they’d fallen. One of them had even lodged itself quite prettily inside a large ceramic pot I’d emptied of its greenhouse-bound contents. Once back inside after my errand of mercy and a few snaps of the camera, I heard on the news that there was a 30% chance of more sleet today and that the temperature would remain well under the freezing mark. It really didn’t feel all that bad while I was out, but it seems we are in for another forced stay-at-home day. I won’t complain though for like the birds I have much for which to be thankful. The birds too have warmth and safety? Indeed they do, for the ones who are cavity nesters, I’ve put in place plenty of birdhouses around the yard and for the others several kinds of evergreens have been planted. If God stewards and provides for me, and he does so well, how can I not in turn steward and provide for all that He has given me?
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! ~Romans 5:17 ✝