Jealous Winter – A brooding wall of winter or a ghost of a season gone

We have had to abandon the phrases we grew up knowing––March coming in like a lamb and going our like a lion or vice versa––for blank stares into the sky and into the west to ask “what next.” The winter has been a prolonged, extended, drawn out sentimental departure, always turning back for one last glance, maybe a quick kiss or a tight and fleeting embrace. But winter couldn’t say goodbye, meaning that slowly budding tulips have lingered just above the ground long enough to have their heads bitten off, and that the bird feeders continue to be busy with activity––the level of food dropping as quickly as the temperature at night.

The deadly storms in the southern US send us their dregs to rip across our land, filling the sky with a grey foreboding, lashing rain from all directions and shaking the house with wind. Thunder comes now at odd times of year; summer storms hit us in spring, fields brim with water before overflowing onto roads, and when the sky clears and we believe the tempest has departed, the clear skies are filled with a bluster that blows the dog off the road and into my legs.

Is this climate change, or are we simply saddled with impatience to get our hands into the dirt, and dig and plant and have the garden fill up with that familiar short lived but intense tropical lushness? I long to know just what it was I pulled off the discount rack last year, the very last of the last of the perennials that is now fully comfortable and finding the nourishment it needs, below the soil. I need to rearrange, find a new home for the raspberries, perhaps replace that large hole with some rose bushes. I need to feed my senses, taste the earth’s miracles, smell the smells, and listen to the array of species of frogs, peepers, crickets and toads. All those things which winter lacks like a jealous lover. Winter, your time has come…

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