Of Cheer and the Crocus

I’ve suffered from a severe case of Writer’s Block for the last couple of days. There have been smaller contributing factors (winter, insomnia and sundry small slings and arrows) but I knew deep-down whence this virus came. The reason I couldn’t write lay snug on the shoulders of my inability to post pictures on my blog. Talk about counterintuitive!

I’m no Cartier-Bresson with the camera — I shrivel with shame when I see the luminous photography on slick food blogs. Hey, I’m a writer, and I should be able to make my words shape that perfect shot! But the last ten days when my ability to upload pictures disappeared has been a living heck, because I realized that I want to show you the funky little bits and pieces of my life. I mean, I don’t have the writing  chops to describe a crocheted chocolate chip cookie!

Well looky-looky!

(Tech note: My Happiness Engineer suggested I change from Firefox to Chrome. Mind you, my brilliant son-in-law John suggested the switch a week before WordPress did, but it was at 2:00 am and I must have messed up. Today, desperate, I read my HE’s suggestion and I tried again. My, I’m cheerful!)

I remember my first crocus the way Marcel remembered that madeleine. We were living in a rented house on rue Jean-Nicolet in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, and snowbanks had disguised whatever garden the owners had devised. Late in March, on a sunny day, I heard my mother yelling “Come here! Look! Look!” And there it was, a tiny bell the color of an egg yolk, pushing through the snow.

My father’s birthday is the twenty-second of March, and  my mother fostered festivity every chance she got. She made a birthday table centerpiece that I still remember being the most magical thing I’d ever seen in all my nine years. She filled a big crystal bowl with water, lit an armada of those floating birthday candles, and scattered crocus blossoms among the candles. We turned off the lights and gazed. Monet’s waterlilies have never come close to the wonder of that beautiful bowl.

I convulsed the grownups when I asked if a crocus was a “Hairbringer” of spring. Yes, they were hairbringers then, and they’re hairbringers now.



Filed under Five bucks or fewer, Growing things, Into the Mystic, The Great Outdoors

8 responses to “Of Cheer and the Crocus

  1. My absolute favorite moment of the entire year is the night I first hear the peepers. I am definitely NOT a winter person, and those little froggies mean spring is on its way.

    I usually hear them about mid-February, but I have not heard them yet this year. 😦

    I did have a couple of crocii blooming, and I saw daffs at my mom’s last weekend. She is not really south of me, but is at a lower elevation–usually spring comes about week later here than there.

    Robins are back, house finches are nesting, and a friend watched a pair of eagles mating a week or so ago. He even took pictures–what a perv.

  2. The peepers’ habitat around here disappeared about fifteen years ago and so did they. I’m still inconsolable.

  3. I’m most impressed that you’ve added photos to your lineup and to your C.V.

    Never saw a crocus coming up, not once in my life—I always supposed they were like the famous maple-syrup-on-the-snow fantasies from my childhood novels—too far North for the likes of me. But I can SO imagine that golden-lit bowl with its armada of candles—so vividly.

    And though we’ve had temps approaching 40’s, and the snow is in grody gaps all over the yard, I can STILL use some quick Spring. So if you see that Hairbringer anytime soon, mapquest him over this way, please.

  4. Rachel, aren’t you in/near Indy? Get yourself to a garden store next fall and plant you some crocuses–put them on a sunny, southfacing slope, and if you have a big rock or a wall backing up the slope, you will have crocuses before anyone else in the neighborhood.

    I think the dogs dug up my early ones–at least they have not even sent any leaves up yet.

  5. Kim

    The next door neighbors have a gorgeous scatter of little purple beauties coming up right now. We, on the other hand, have leaves from last fall 😦

  6. They grow up thru the leaves, unless they are really thick. But you do have to plant them. 🙂

  7. They grow up thru the leaves, unless they are really thick. But you do have to plant them.

    We have had a lovely 3 days–my daffs were closed up tight when I left the house at 8 this morning. By noon, I had a whole group of yellow flowers beside the front porch.

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