Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thoughts of Spring

Spring has arrived in my part of Georgia in a big way. We’re in the throes of our annual botanical orgy, where every tree is trying to outdo its neighbor in the area of pollen production.
Every surface is covered in a yellow green dust that plays havoc with human sinuses and the only respite is the occasional spring rainshower.

I suck down antihistamines religiously to ward off the dreaded sinus infections so common this time of year. Even so, I adore Spring. So full of things to see and full of hope for the future.

I love that the temperatures are warm enough to put away the space heaters that hummed all winter, and yet, it’s cool enough to avoid running up the utility bills by switching on the air conditioner.

Probably the most amazing thing about April is the flowers. March can be quite gaudy, really, all tarted up in vibrant yellow, pink and green, shouting “Look at me! Look at me!”

April is more refined, her write blossoms as elegant as any Society debutante. Looking out my front door, I can see white dogwood and azaleas, even white flowering cherry trees whose graceful limbs seem to reach for the sky.

Along the roadsides, wisteria creates a violet-hued waterfall amongst the winter-killed kudzu vines.

The lawn, which lay dormant all winter, has sent yellow green blades up through the reddish brown earth, and within days, has become a rich, verdant carpet.

Exploring the yard, I notice the fig tree has sent out a few experimental leaves, as if unsure whether to commit to coming out of hibernation for fear of being bitten by a late frost.

The dainty tea olive at the corner of the house tempts me with the transient, yet intense aroma of it’s delicate flowers, and I note with pleasure, an abundance of ripening buds on the rhododendron that holds court near the front door.

At the same time, I notice, with some trepidation, the gardenia bush, a plant beloved by many, but not by me. I find the fragrance of the waxy white flowers too cloying, too insistent. Even so, I can’t bring myself to destroy this plant which has stubbornly thrived, despite years of benign neglect on my part.

I make my way to the herb beds and smile as I think about the fresh chives I’ll be able to sprinkle over the top of baked potatoes.

All too soon, the responsibilities of my day take me back inside the house. Before I leave the garden, though, I pause to run my hand across the rosemary bush. I bring my fingers to my nose and inhale, eyes closed. The sharp, tangy scent takes me back to my childhood and for a moment, I’m transported to another time and place where life moved at a gentler pace, where dinner was made by mama and Spring lasted longer than an instant.