So far this winter we have been blown, drowned, frozen and buried with snow. Out here we haven’t had it as fiercely as many of you have had and I am sorry for that. As for me, I feel more vulnerable each year as winter blows around. I know it’s only natural to feel more tentative as we age and that is especially true when we are battling one or more chronic illness or injury. Winter is lovely from the front windows but walking, driving, running chores, all becomes more and more of a challenge. I often wonder what I would be doing without my trusty computer for shopping, communicating and reading.
I guess the point I’m searching to find is that I agree with all of you who have expressed the desire for winter to melt, fade, dry-up and drop dead but in all actuality, winter is just part of this cycle we’re in, called life. It may fade but it will not die. The water on the ground will spill into a nearby stream. The hail will melt into a tiny crevice where a weed or a flower will grow. The fierce winds have done their job by blowing old leaves up the block and dormant looking flowers that look dead are actually sleeping. Much like Sleeping Beauty, they are awaiting the kiss of spring. Each season prepares us for the next with its planning for growth and the future. All of life is a slow run, a walk on a treadmill or a saunter in a glorious garden. None of life stands still. Even now, as the hail falls from the Northwestern sky, a huge camellia bush outside our third story window is budding with thousands of red crimson buds. That bush never doubts it will bloom. It stands up bravely to the strong winds we experience and never drowns in the rain. I’ve never even heard it gulp…not once. That majestic bush has a plan that was implanted in it many years ago.
I have primroses on the brain. I am profoundly grateful to them for bringing the promise of spring to us here in the Northwest in the midst of this gray weather. Those tiny, colorful flowers are almost giggling with pleasure as they burst forth. Too bad all of life is not a cartoon, although it often appears to be. It works for me; I can’t look at these flowers without smiling. A mixture of spring colors is always there to greet me like a litter of puppies and kittens, although their colors are of different hues in oranges, yellows, reds, blues, purples and multiple shades of pink.
I must admit that it struck me today that all of us, with our varying lives, conditions and every variety of health problem, remind me of this flower. Don’t give up on me yet; all of you who read this regularly know I’m heading somewhere, albeit around a twisting garden path or two. Oh, now there’s an idea. Isn’t it a wonderful idea to think of going for a leisurely, pleasant walk in the sunshine?
All of us, who come together on this site to share, empathize and just enjoy each other, come in many shapes, colors and forms. We also represent a variety of ages, locations and depths of degree of suffering, whatever the cause. I believe it’s fair to compare all of us as a community to those lovely flowers.
There are many varieties of Primulas, the most popular varieties appear to be the English varieties and the Japanese ones as well. There are even a few that are not really primroses at all but are called so, such as the Evening Primrose which is really a variety of Oenotheras and not Primulas. Many of the Oenotheras also bring beauty and usefulness in the form of the oils used from those in Evening Primrose Oil which I have taken for years for skin and circulatory problems. However, I digress and today just want to have a garden chat about the beauty of these tiny harbingers of spring, the Primulas or true primroses. Think of them as tiny chicks, a baby on the door step, a fawn teetering up to the forest from your local neighborhood on new legs or any image which brings you hope of change.
These tiny bright flowers have a leaf in a lettuce frond form, and many bright flowers bursting forth. They are, as I have mentioned, lovely but my favorite part of them is their positive energy that causes them to continually make new “baby buds” underneath the protective covering of the roughly hewn leaves. Each of the tiny buds which are deeply hidden beneath the larger leaves is hidden in safety while growing and planning. Nature is fond of showing off and none more beautifully than when each tiny reproduction is a perfect match for the mother plant and each like the other. You can count on nature as long as the rules are followed and it gets nourishment, water and light. Never do you find a sunnily bright yellow variegated primrose giving birth to a purple version beneath its leaves. Deep within their DNA is all the information needed to follow the plan for life. They know what to do and are consistent, each and every time, unless…some aberrant force has messed with their plan.
Many of us feel totally “messed with,” don’t we? I know I do. The plan for my body got off track, went south, and got ugly all in a very short time. As I struggle with the aberrant me, the one that went south, it helps me to share the images of life, nature and animal behavior. I’m laughing quietly to myself as I remember the way small children hide Easter eggs. The small ones hide them out in plain sight. Lovely shades of spring clumsily died but beautifully wonderful to see. A bright purple died Easter egg perched on a rock in the middle of a garden, is adorable to see. The small child believes it is hidden. It reminds me of our tiny puppy, George, who hides his many rawhide knots in the corner of a room, under our pillows or in the corner of a stair in clear sight. I have to congratulate Mother Nature; she hides her tiny buds quite cleverly and well. New life always wants to break through and renew itself over and over again. Have faith to believe in the cycle of life.
There are so many ways to send a message and spring is shouting all around us…just listen. It will come.