“The Dandelion’s pallid tube / Astonishes the grass / And winter instantly becomes / An infinite Alas. The tube uplifts a signal Bud / And then a shouting Flower / The Proclamation of the Suns / That sepulture is o’er.” —Emily Dickinson
It’s funny how quickly we forget. I am, at this very moment, seeing glimpses of blue in the sky after so many solid hours of cloud cover.
I have officially ruled out relocating to the upper northwest. I can’t imagine 220 more days in one year like the wet dark ones we’ve had here last week. And now, as I’m beginning to squint from the sunbeam through my curtains, I remember how bright things can be.
Suddenly, I’m completely psyched up for clearing my yard and replanting my adaptation of a flower garden. I got so drug down by my “waiting for the big-snow” mentality all through our non-eventful winter that I wasn’t ready to let my spring brain kick in.
The normal order of seasons is all out of whack, it makes me a little uneasy. But then I put on my flip-flops and the rain came in. These events have changed my mind—if the grass and tree buds and first bold (and dead) spider that found my bathtub are ready for spring, then so am I.
Thanks to a concept suggested by fellow columnist Malinda Just, I’ve designated a new word for the year 2012. I picked “perspective.” The decision to do this has changed how I think.
For instance, my youngest daughter had to have dental work that required anesthesia. A slip of a thing being put under by a powerful sedative is not a thought I was comfortable with. She came through fine, but I had a parallel glimpse into the world of parents whose kids aren’t as fortunate as mine. Those who live in hospital rooms and comprehend medical terms I can’t pronounce.
Our experiences can’t fairly be compared, but it gives me perspective on the hand that we’re dealt. Or, back to lawn care, the yard we are dealt. The mower and clippers have been broken in for this season. Seven lawn and leaf garbage bags have been filled with weeds, leaves and grass. I have a patio that’s relatively free of clutter and the first pyramid of charcoal has been lit.
I admit I was feeling pretty smug about my manicured outdoor living space. Until I drove around town and began to notice all of the greener, more lush lawns. When I got back to my place, suddenly the yard didn’t hold the same majesty it had 30 minutes earlier.
That was until my youngest hopped out of the car and commented on all of our pretty sunflowers. “Look at all of them,” she boasted. “It rained and now we have so many!”
So I looked again and saw what she saw. A yard full of sunflowers. Some people call them dandelions. But truth be told, they are as yellow as any sunflower I’ve ever seen.
How quickly we forget that pretty is pretty. And random sprouts of yellow are pretty against green-ish grass. (Ask any 7-year-old. They generally have a pretty good perspective on things themselves.)
I’d like to squeeze in a few more cookouts before the clouds come back and we’re cooped up in the house for the likely “April showers” that will fall again. I’d be happier with a couple of dry weeks to get in as many barbecues and patio nights that we can.
And there I go again, losing sight of the big picture. Without my daughter’s perspective, how quickly I forget. How will our sunflowers grow without rain?