Day of hope


I STOOD in the morning bathroom, admiring my Springtime doings.

I had installed a fresh deodorant stick and a new bottle of liquid soap, little harbingers of a longed-for change of season.

Has winter gone? Not officially, of course, but the Goddess does not always copy the calendar. She is capricious.

Have we really dodged the bullet? Has the worst of winter passed with nary a single frozen morning? Fourteen years here on the mountaintop, 11 in the Hacienda. Not one winter has passed without an overnight freeze. Usually, there are many.

I hesitate to speak of this now because just last year we also made it to March freeze-free. I rejoiced, lit incense, and then … bam! A couple of overnight freezes walloped the yard. That’s the biggest drawback to freezes. It sucker punches the yard, creating tasks for me, cutting and toting out the victims. Brown death is not a good yard look.

If memory serves, however, those freezes fell upon us in the first week of March 2013, and now we’re in the second week, and the forecast says nothing untoward is on the highway barreling down from Texas.

Getting two straight years of moderation affects the yard in good ways. It has really gone to town, so to speak. Things are growing wildly. Why, just this morning, I went out, clippers and whackers in hand, to talk a little sense into some areas. Stern discipline.

There was the drooping vine over the archway between the stone wall and the secondary carport. That same vine, rooted elsewhere, was climbing over the red roof tile of the carport, sneaking over the neighbor’s house a bit. That baby got slashed.

Much of the grass is turning brown due to lack of rain or watering. That’s okay because it won’t require mowing, and it will return in wet June. But one area, just outside the dining room window, refuses to die. I had to weed-eat it into submission.

Last month, with the help of younger, stronger fellows, much of the planting areas were stripped clean. Years of old growth were trucked away, weeds intertwined. Mulch was spread. Cacti were moved. A little brown wagon was bought. An architectural touch.

I am nothing if not arty. Now it’s almost like a Zen garden in spots.

Twelve days to go till the Vernal Equinox. My fingers are crossed. My deodorant is new, and so is the soap. I’m feeling fresh, clean and fortunate.