Hope Arrives In the Mailbox

January 20, 2011

Bitterly cold, frozen fingers, chilly toes, cold nose, blankets upon blankets upon the couch. I am  not walking through the garden today. While one would imagine that the brief bursts of sunshine would give you a quick bask of warmth, they are deceptive, deceitful and just plain evil. It is no warmer in the sun than not.

And then Tony brings in the mail, and along with it, a real, true, enormous burst of warm, yellow rays. The plant and seed catalogs have started to arrive!

After dinner, I sit on the couch, wrapped in a fleece blanket, and flip through the Pages Of Promise. The fantasies begin.

Do we really need any front lawn? Because look at these peonies. And this beautiful sedum! We could do a rose garden right in the middle of the lawn, in that wonderful full sun exposure. The names are romantic, like Senior Prom or Helen Hayes, and majestic, like American Beauty and Victory, and poetic like Climbing Peace and Artic Flame. Think of the perfume, wafting to the porch on a warm summer evening!

Do we really need space for bean bag playing? Because I think we need at least five of these string bean varieties. We eat string beans, right? You like string beans, I tell myself. There are big tomatoes, small tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, purple tomatoes. We need one of each! We could double – oh, gosh, triple – the size of the veggie garden now. Then we’d have room for asparagus too! Broccoli! How about Broccoli?

Everblooming lilacs would make a fragrant, colorful fence between Gwen and us. She would enjoy it too. We could get these new weglias and incorporate the vegetable garden into a whole new bed! Wait! Evergreens too – boxwood – I love boxwood! Those peonies would work here too, come to think of it.

Couldn’t we do an espalier with apple trees, or OOOO! PEAR trees! between Gwen and us? It would be green and leafy and UNIQUE in the garden. It wouldn’t interfere with bean bags. WAIT! GRAPES! We could put grapes there too – and make our own wine!

Strawberries!! Oh, my goodness, LOOK at these strawberries! Red and juicy and we love strawberries – we eat them by the pounds every summer! We can put these in too! We’d need the June variety and the everbearing too, so we can enjoy them all summer long. Let’s put them right where – well – now – where could we put those?

I begin to come to earth, the garden space that grew to acres in my mind shrinking back to actual size and enter reality with a little bump. For a moment, the fleece blanket was golden sunshine, the double socks my gardening shoes. For a moment, I was out there planning, digging, planting and growing. For a moment, I forgot about wind chill, cold advisories and ice warnings. Spring arrived in the mail today and I really enjoyed the moment.

And sooner than I think, all that will be true.

Promise, personified

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