The colour of spring

Mother Nature has finally done it!

Mother Nature has finally done it!

She has come along and coloured all the white pages of winter, drawing from her own amazing selection of crayons to bring us a delightful potpourri of greens and blues and purples and, in fact, every colour and hue of the rainbow.

And, even better, she has refused to stay in the lines, instead just spilling colour everywhere.

It’s a good thing, what has happened to our world. And it make me, even as I head out the door, late, spilling coffee on a freshly laundered white blouse, climbing into a car that has obviously missed the car wash too many times, almost deliriously happy.

The sights and sounds and smell of summer are intoxicating are they not? (even without a sip or two of the bubbly stuff)

Of course, the shoulder season, that time after winter and before spring which seemed to go on forever this year, is not so pleasant.

It’s that time when you look at the calendar, sigh, and mutter something clever and funny about the fact that spring is conspicuous, but only by its absence.

It was during this in-between season that my daughters and I all looked out our kitchen windows at our yards with something akin to horror. There before our eyes lay a dismal scene; patches of dead things like grass and leaves and left over stalks of flowers lay all forlorn and rejected. Our yards cried of neglect and winterkill.

We sigh, turn away and pick up the phone.

“When is he coming?” we ask each other.

He is a family friend. He has a greenhouse. He lives in Saskatchewan, the land of the living skies. And he brings us ‘stuff’ every year. We don’t know the names of the stuff, we only know a few weeks after he leaves we all end up with flowers in our gardens whose beautiful blossoms rival the colour of Mother Nature’s crayons.

He is our mobile gardener and without him it seems our green thumbs are broken and useless. When he comes and digs and plants, things grow like they are supposed to. When he leaves, our green thumbs are miraculously healed and we manage to water, weed and, as our gardens grow, puff out our chests and take all the credit.

Don’t get me wrong. When he arrives, we try to be helpful. We go out there with him, trailing behind, usually, but not always, carrying a little shovel. We assume an intelligent look and do our best to converse.

“Would you like some of that primula like your mom has,” he asked my youngest daughter.

“Is that a disease?” she asked politely.

I heard the conversation from inside the house and would have rolled on the floor in laughter, except I had baby Jacob in my arms, and it probably wasn’t a good idea to roll at that time.

He explained it was a perennial that produces brilliant early clusters of flowers and grows best in partially sunny conditions.

“I would love some,” she said agreeably.

Our gardens are planted now. Neat rows of little plants that are, even as I write this, burying their little roots deep into the freshly rototilled soil.

I walk out the front door, glance at my weedless garden and offer a smile up to the sun.

I love primula or whatever that stuff is called.

It is the colour of spring!

ON THE OTHER SIDE