The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Monday, December 19, 2011

On a Monday in December

Today is our usual day for volunteer shelving at our local library.  My mate was nursing a set of sprung back muscles after injudiciously handling wet soil with a shovel, while we were finally planting the last of the daffodils.  Yep, I had succumbed, again, to catalogs, and while I had ordered only a few bulbs to plant, everything had conspired to keep us from planting.  First the temps remained way too warm, then we finally got some rain (no complaint there), and then other commitments took up time and energy and opportunity.  So there we were, planting the daffodils and jonquils along with a handful of alliums, and oops, a spring got sprung in the poor back.   This was Saturday; yesterday, knowing we were possibly in for a dramatic change of weather and perhaps heavy rain today, I pressed our kind son into service, and figured out a more efficient way of planting (with a bulb digger – what an idea!) and we finally got the last of the bulbs tucked.  Next spring, we’ll have forgotten the pain and the push, we’ll just be enjoying the fragrance of jonquils such as Suzy and Stratosphere, and narcissi such as Flower Record and Fortune, and Merlin. And since our garden is small, there is little room for planting more bulbs to plant in other years.  These, along with the bulbs already established, will make our garden glorious for several weeks, if, of course, the weather is decent.   With spring, or any other season in Texas, one never knows. 

Anyway, I drove alone to the library to keep up the family commitment, and as I did, the wind was making dry leaves skitter across the road, sometimes making a circle or swirl, and more leaves were falling from trees; it was magical.  In Clement Moore’s "‘Twas The Night Before Christmas," he describes ‘dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly.’  Many writers describe the leaves as ‘dancing’, and actually I have seen them appear to do that, like a country square dance, changing partners.  But today the leaves were just following wind currents, down from the trees, across the road, making it clear that autumn is nearly over, and winter is closer.  There’s a band of bad weather further north of us and some folks further north will get snow and possibly a blizzard of it; here it is cloudy and dreary and promising rain, in other words, perfectly expected weather behavior for this time of year. 

But when the last of the bulbs are tucked, and the weather looks this dreary, and the leaves are falling like, well, snow, what comes to my mind is daffodils.

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