Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hey, ho, the wind and the rain

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."

This year, winter and spring seem to have shaken hands and reached some sort of compromise, granting each other the authority to intermittently take charge over one another's appointed months. Winter was unusually mild and green, but this week, spring is doing its best to pose as winter.

Freezing temperatures and a forecast of "possible snow flurries" greeted us this morning as an unwelcome finale to yesterday's trunk-snapping, flower-stripping winds—winds that turned the sky a sickly brown for most of the afternoon. Our yard is littered with the debris of Monday's gales, and the tulips are staring pathetically up at me with a uniform expression of exhaustion and defeat. In the glass of the living room window, I can see that my own expression reflects theirs.

Only in recent years have I discovered how much the weather affects my mood. It's hard to put a spring in my step when there is no spring in the air. If I let them, these blustery days can turn me into a real Eeyore— Eeyore living in a house full of Tiggers.

Dreams of a green, sprouting vegetable garden are not going to be realized anytime this week. Or next, judging by the forecast. The seed packets sitting on my counter all say, in their matter-of-fact way, "Plant in the ground after all danger of frost is past." All danger? That would give us, let's see, the last two weeks in August. Maybe. If it's a good year. I've seen frost on the Fourth of July.

So here I sit near a bright window, warming my hands against a mug of very hot tea, letting the steam rise into my face to clear my stuffy head and ease the disappointment of hope deferred.

The truth is that, living in northern Idaho, gardening is really a matter of playing the odds. It takes a gaming spirit and a sense of humor. What are the chances of snow in May? Are you willing to bet your crop on it? Ante up. And keep a spare ace up your sleeve. Wear your poker face. Don't let the sunshine fool you.

Sunny skies may have replaced yesterday's brown, but the cheery blue, like a squirting trick corsage, is nothing but a cheap practical joke; it lures us with all the illusion of springtime friendliness and then douses the unsuspecting optimist with a blast of chilly reality. Haha. Very funny. Where's my coat?

Truthfully, I do know that spring is already here and that these cold days are nothing extraordinary. I have no doubt that warmer weather will be on its way here again soon. And in the meantime, I have a fire. And a warm mug. And guileless sunny faces all around me. The tulips are even beginning to look like they'll recover.

Oh, and we haven't had an earthquake lately.


Erika said...

My Mom and I have been itching to plant as well, but Aunt Wendy told us to wait until the end of the month. So we look at our toiled ground, and wait for the weather to cooperate.

Claire said...

I know where your coat is--if you and I are on the same track, it's packed away upstairs in the bins...whence you will retrieve it right before the warm winter weather sets in in mid-December.

Bev Atwood said...

Yup. It is snowing as I read this. Happy May 5. The tulips will survive.

Total Pageviews