One of the things I enjoy most about gardening is watching the seasons change. People tend to think of seasons as beginning on a certain date – winter in December, spring in March, but in reality nature follows a smooth wavelike pattern, gradually becoming a little less like one season, and a little more like the next, unhindered by dates on the calendar. In the depths of a cold, snowy January, it seems like winter will last forever.
And then the seed catalogs arrive.
Seed catalogs are truly the first signs of spring, and even though they aren’t a natural phenomenon, they are still a ray of hope – a reminder that the cold days of winter won’t last forever. Arriving at the deepest trough of the winter doldrums, they signal the way out, a sign of surer, more natural signs of spring to come. Other signs of spring follow quickly after the seed catalogs’ arrival. The chickens start waking up a little earlier each day and stay out a little later each evening. Snow turns to mud. And then suddenly, there it is – the first little sprig of green. Sometimes it’s a crocus, a joyful, brilliant, blooming herald yelling “Spring is Here!” Sometimes it’s a dandelion that’s found a sheltered spot on the warm south side of a building, just a whisper of spring.
Yesterday, I found this little weed growing between buckets I had set under the eaves of the barn to catch rainwater. A true sign of spring. I hope it gives you the same feeling of joy and hope that it gave me.