I am never happier when my local garden center, Mahoney’s, opens for the season. They close temporarily each year just after the winter holidays and then reopen in March. I confess to feeling like a child on Christmas morning as I drive past and see the tulip-emblazoned “WE’RE OPEN!” banner draped over the entrance and billowing in the early spring breeze. It beckons to me to enter for my annual sensory recalibration. After weeks of drowning in dull, drab hues my eyes are treated to a vibrant palette of annuals and perennials. And the scent I have been longing for: mulch. I adore mulch’s earthy fragrance, not to mention it’s deep, rich brown tones.
The first flowers I must purchase are pansies. I have always loved pansies, and admire how hearty they are. We still have some chilly nights, and days, this time of year in New England, but these happy faces manage to survive winter’s final frosty blasts.
Daffodils trumpet the arrival of spring, too. Their bright yellow glow never fails to bring a smile to my face. When I was a child, my father read all of A.A. Milne’s work to me, and I remember his poem Daffodowndilly, and our special time together, with great affection.
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”
— A.A. Milne
(Photo bomb courtesy of Thoreau and the Language of Trees by Richard Higgins. I went to see a talk given by the author at our local bookstore last Thursday night and now I can’t help but examine every tree I pass. Slice coming soon about this!)
Many thanks to Two Writing Teachers for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life each Tuesday.