Sunday, November 16, 2008


I picked up where I left off today, planting bulbs. The sun was regular and warming, the murky swirl of flood waters moved on, though not without leaving silty traces, and damage. Our new “dry garden” went under water. Newly planted rosemary and lavender coasted down stream. One large phormium set sail and landed in a ditch down the road. A barberry tumbled like a hedge hog picking up debris on the way. A log snapped off the top of our young “Elizabeth” magnolia. The pepper house collapsed into a slumping pile of plastic.
Yet I felt hopeful, planted bulbs. As soon as the earth was visible I couldn’t help but garden. It was the only act I knew that would perk up my mood, sometimes as heavy as the waterlogged soil. I talked to my friend, Peach back in North Carolina, she said she liked to plant crocus bulbs with the children at her church as part of the Advent observations. She said there was no more hopeful act. I had to agree. It seems hope is more than a campaign platform. It’s an actuality, effecting our daily lives. My hope when planting bulbs, has a conviction. Winter comes, yes. But spring follows. No darkness lingers too long before light comes to dispel it. Flood waters recede. Fallen leaves become soil.
A butterfly flew by, mistakenly woken m by the warm weather. THe illusion of Spring.
We had our friends, Kevin and Louis, over today to help us dig potatoes. There was no illusion of Spring as the sun slipped behind the ridge. I thought indignantly, “It’s still afternoon.” We all made wild guesses at what time it really was. Kevin was right-- 3:43. Darkness crept into the valley slow enough to allow us to finish our project. Then we retreated to electric light and bowls of hot posole.

Silty mess.


This bright calendula was 8 feet under water just a few days ago. Talk about resilience.