Surprise Equinox

Spring is a marvelous time for the faithless.

You believers know all winter long that one day the snow will melt and we’ll all voluntarily hang around outdoors without our coats. You picture the tulip bulbs hoarding their little lives under the frozen ground, and you’re sure that in a few months you’ll see those first bright leaves push their way up.

Me, I picture sunken patches in the soil under the snow. The squirrels, I’m certain, dug those bulbs up and ate them in October. Not that it will ever again be warm enough for plants to grow, anyway.

Oh, I put on a good show. I talk all January about my “garden plan” and remind the kids that when summer comes we won’t even have to wear socks. But deep, deep in my heart, every winter, I know it’s impossible for spring to come. So far from the leafy green world of summer, warm air seems like a fable.

So this week astonished me. The snow—except for a few filthy patches of crust—is gone. The sidewalks are dry. The park across the street is screaming with kids. We played in the backyard for half the morning. We raked mulch off the flower beds and found green, living leaves. Ingrid drew a giant yellow fire truck on the walkway with chalk. Iris ate rocks. We saw that the peach tree the grandmas bought in honor of Iris’s birth—which we worried about in the twenty-below-zero but never did manage to cover up with an old blanket—has buds on every single one of its little branches. What a miracle.

If green leaves started popping out on the trees, I’d probably faint with delight. Too bad that’ll never happen.


4 thoughts on “Surprise Equinox

  1. “Fable” is right. I feel that way every year, though I’ve never found such lovely words for it. Though removing mulch in March shows you might have more faith than I do…

  2. Despite what you may think, being an optimist isn’t all that it is cracked up to be because, if you expect it to always work out well then you aren’t all that plesantly surprised when it does 😉

    So see, your way is MUCH better, you got to have a lovely surprise just by not expecting it to happen.


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