In search of story

January 12.20


The greening of the lavender

along the garden border

in April welcomed cordially,

in January, out of order.

We’re doused with April showers,

winter coats hang limp in closets;

there’s dank insinuation

that such misplacement posits.

Winter April such as this

seems not at all auspicious;

gardeners grow no seedlings

but only more suspicious.

Winter can be bitter,

and gardeners hate the wait,

but they worry when the earth

seems to de-regulate.

Meanwhile, though, they slog around

amid the muddied swells,

rejoicing through a happy nose:

how good the wet earth smells!



4 thoughts on “January 12.20

  1. A hearty welcome back to you and your muse! You may already know, but I thought I’d mention that there is a word for the wet earth smell – petrichor.

    • Thank you! I hope this reluctant muse sticks around for a while. These dry spells drive me cuckoo. And, speaking of dry spells, there is petrichor. No, I never heard of it, and I thank you for that, too! What a wonderful word (and let’s hear it for alliteration!) — you know I had to look it up and find out more about it. “Ethereal fluid”! That is it exactly! There is no end of amazement in gardening!

  2. You nailed it! We do lament the long winter, but lavender greening up now makes us fearful. This is not good. Last spring, so many plants died because they warmed up, used moisture, dried up, and the process started over. Last August, our tulip tree that blooms in May, bloomed again. It gave me the creeps because I knew how mixed up the poor plants were at that point. I wish it would change one way or the other and stay because that we could learn to live with.

  3. Exactly: we don’t know what we’re living with! Gardeners never pretended to know everything about Nature, but at least they knew the cycles and the seasons. Now, not so much. I like your way of putting it: it gives you the creeps. I agree; there is something creepy about plants coming to life in January in places like Indiana. Or a May-blooming tulip tree blooming in August in New Hampshire. If the plants are trying to tell us something, I hope we can figure out what.

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