I noticed purple crocuses blooming in the back yard three or four days ago. It seemed a little early to me, but this area is experiencing an unusually mild winter, so it’s not early to the flowers! The white crocuses are blooming, and the purple-and-white ones are about ready to come out as well. Crocuses look so delicate and fragile, but looks definitely are deceiving in their case, because they grow—even thrive—in poor soil, need no maintenance, and they are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring.
No matter whether the winter’s been harsh or mild, I always look forward to seeing the crocuses. Amid all the changes in life, they bring beauty to enjoy every year.
Photo: P. Booher
My mother enjoys tending flowers, whether inside or out. This spring, after the threat of frost ended, she transplanted these begonias. Although she placed the rocks for the practical reason of deterring possible erosion in case our area received heavy rains, to me, the rocks add to the beauty of this little spot.
A note about these begonias: I used to think of begonias, since they are generally considered houseplants, as not being particularly hardy plants. However, these begonias and the others my mother has, are transplanted back inside for the fall and winter. Due to lack of space downstairs, the begonias live upstairs in the winter. We do not heat the upstairs; the only warmth these plants receive is from the morning sun and the heat that rises through the floor. We have been doing this for the past several years, and despite some extremely cold days, have lost only three or four plants, at the most, each winter. When I go upstairs on a cold January day, I get a lift as I see the begonias blooming cheerfully, as though there was no chill in the air.
This afternoon I felt restless. After I threw a couple loads of clothes in the washer I couldn’t get settled down to doing anything else constructive. I almost went grocery shopping, but I was just shopping yesterday. Thoughts of being in a store today weren’t appealing. In fact, the longer I was in the house the more restless I felt.
What did I do? I prayed about my restlessness, grabbed a coat and headed out into the bright sunshine. I fed the birds, then walked on a nearby nature trail. Spending time outside is relaxing to me because nature has no agenda. It just is. The trees don’t try to get me to buy anything; the boulders don’t bellow any propaganda; the gurgling and babbling of the creek as it rushes over and around the rocks doesn’t contain any hidden messages. Nature is, and that simplicity and the beauty of the woods brought a peace to me that hours later I am still enjoying.
If you’re inside, longing for the outdoors, and can’t make it there yet, here’s a mental “getaway” for you.