The snow has melted again, but the yard has clearly shifted into winter landscape. The zebra grass has gone blonde, the birch tree displays its fine bone structure, and random shallow holes speckle the ground where squirrels are able to stash a few last walnuts, chestnuts, or acorns in the still-green lawn.
Out in the fenced garden the raised beds are asleep, tulip bulbs tucked in against spring rabbits. The blueberry nets have abandoned their frames to spend a quiet winter curled up in the garage. Too cold for the cold frame, so we’ve taken the lid inside to protect it – or rather, to protect the hinges from the ripping power of winds.
The green that lingers longest is also the one that comes back first. I tried last spring to establish hellebore in the hat of my Green Lady, who sits on the north side of my garage. Nothing happened until November, when the sprout appeared that became this lovely sprig. It will continue green as winter goes on, but by the time it’s looking really weather-beaten in early March, it will shrug, brighten back up, and bloom.
It still seem miraculous to me, that these trees, these bushes, these very flowerbeds, undergo this transition year after year, green to gold to grey to white. Like the diva changing the lightbulb, I stand in one place while the world turns around me. Warmer or colder, wetter or drier, the differences are nothing to the overwhelming continuity, the reliability, the reassurance that this wheel will turn without our leaning on it. Some people get this from religion. I get it from the world.
Meanwhile, inside the south-facing window of my workroom, the Cobra hothouse tomato seeds also know what they’re doing. Here they come.