I’ve been noticing you every day now. I know it’s not at all unusual for you to appear about now, in what is called midwinter or February thaw by those of us who are optimists. I remember how you love so much attention this early. Poets are clamoring to write about the crocus, shut-ins are all smiles and contentment at the sight of any color in the deep of winter. Every time I walk up the driveway, I see you peeking up through the wiry, belligerent juniper bushes. You’re the Show Off, even though the junipers have blue berries. They lack confidence; they feel rejected for shedding needles at inopportune times, but they too are beautiful in their uniqueness. And the dogwoods, they have no flowers at all in February, but look at those crimson red branches. Yes, people will take another look at the leafless dogwood, if only for the beauty of the branches. Still you, my tiny friend, are the Winner, but be humble my friend; always remember your true origin.

Velvety purple, pure white and glorious sunburst yellow make a delightful sight. Considering all the snow we’ve had this year, I suppose you expect to be aahed and oohed, but knowing, even in your denial, that you might be covered again with the wet, cold, white stuff. You bask in the conversations, “did you see the crocuses? They’re up! Be careful. Don’t step on the crocuses!” Yikes. That would hurt, wouldn’t it?
It’s been a beauty contest the last two weeks and you are number one. But yellow daffodils, and creamy narcissus are coming up any time now. You know the other risks you take, being the first one to show your face. Yes, you will be the first to abandon your flowers, and then your leaves, only to reflect and renew yourself for another season. You’ll have a time of repose, after your stems wilt and hide underground, nourishing yourself for next year’s smile of winter thaw. Again, you will be the beauty. Don’t be too proud; don’t ever forget where you came from.

Posted in Essays.