There are several things about spring that only a handful of special people will notice without them being handed the observation by one of said special people. The air is charged with a promise that Mother Nature regrets making. The garden is chaos. The pine needles raked into piles and scattered on the patio. The juncos and canyon towhees scraping and scratching at the thistle socks and seed hoppers are small, frantic reminders that things will be growing soon. The crocuses have pushed their way through the earth and are bright yellow and plum gems against the bare rocks next to the night blooming jasmine. 

These are the obvious notes. Perhaps everyone sees these things.

There are other things. You’d need to dig for them. The smell in the air that is frost, but also earth warming midday. The tiny, green, velvet buds of the agastache, buried underneath fallen leaves and last year’s woody stems. The phlox is suddenly jewel bright. The sun casts shadows slightly longer than it had a month ago. The roses look heavy. There’s no other way to describe it. 

I’ll dig the earth and rake the pine needles. Things will go in and the buds will be tended. The cycle so familiar will soothe me. 

I wish it were all mine. That I was not tending someone else’s earth. Wasn’t watching spring on someone else’s green. It is like raising a child; loving and caring and watching the fruition of your labor, only to have it snatched from you because it really was never yours to begin with.

I have never loved the spring the way I do the fall. There are things in the spring that I see that are like a promise of the sadness to come. Things just outside my vision that remind me that another year is blooming. Another winter ending. 

I’ll be here, dirt under my nails and smudged on my clothes. Tending things and tilling things with hope and love. Waiting to see what grows and what withers. 

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