Thursday, April 7, 2011

4.2 Braving April




Classic April Fool’s weather. A snowstorm on April 1. For us a few inches of white slush. Locations not far west or north of here got eight inches.
Anne goes to work as always, rain snow or sleet, that morning and keeps a sharp lookout for the well-being of assorted spring blossoms. Her report, from Boston’s Park Street station:

At One Beacon Street
The pansies are shivering
In the snow

As much as the gathering slush was dousing my enthusiasm for a go at the back garden, I had been staring at a green banner raised by reliably strong early showing by the daylilies. On the basis of that strength I felt a reply was called for:

At One-Seven-Four
The lilies lift their fingers
To wave in the slush

Saturday, forecast as a sunny, low fifties good outdoors day, turns out to be a good deal cooler in the morning, and the wind keeps up all day. I rake in the afternoon, feeling cool whenever a cloud gets between me and the sun and the wind blows, as it’s determined to do. Then there’s a good patch when the clouds miss my sun on their trek to somebody else’s sun and I am too warm to wear my jacket. That’s the place I want to get to more often.
I should emulate the indifference of the crocuses. I had worried that the snow would harm their blossoms, which were late enough opening this year. But even before the snow had finished melting on the sidewalk strip, the crocuses were standing up straight and strong, brightly colored faces raised to the sun.
They are the very image of bravery, Anne said.
Inspired by landscapers of Beacon Street, Anne and I decide to go buy some pansies our own and plant them out front in that strip. A few rain drops fall from the now cloud-furrowed sky as we drive back home. We go to work anyway, digging up a patch in front of the house, but then the wind picks up and the clouds thicken and move with apparent determination toward steady drizzle.
We go indoors to have tea.
The sky clears and bright heavens beam from behind the storm door and windows. It’s too late.
When you cool your jets too many times, it’s hard to start them up again. That’s the way the days go in April.