Oh No, I’ve Fallen For It Again: A Brief Journal of Heartbreak

Saturday, March 1st

Days of warmth and general sense of life on its way back. Aura of spring. The way the light falls, liquid-looking. Have so looked forward to end of monochromatic days.

Managed to get a whole lot done in the yard yesterday – weeding, trimming, walking around aimlessly in search of tiny leaves. As if attention will make them emerge faster. Landscape of sticks difficult to believe in.

Looks like purple lantana will drape itself over curb once again this year; great comfort in future flowers.

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Decided nearly all plants in pots must establish themselves in ground. Life a do-or-die proposition, no more mollycoddling in greenhouse. Making a cactus haven in spot by back corner of fence.

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Difficult to believe this area will be overrun with flowers and foliage before too long. Must learn to trust in spring. Holds promise of life, future, etc. Around town redbuds in bloom, and the green haze hanging over stands of trees that signals spring’s arrival.

Pomegranate in sidewalk garden unfurling waxy new leaves, each one perfect. Empirical data to uphold belief. What’s not to trust? Should work on gloomy outlook.

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Wonder if it will ever unfurl flowers and fruit. Would risk months in underworld to be able to eat one. Not even a pomegranate lover; it’s the principle of the thing.

Out back, little maple tree swelling back to life as well.

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Neighbor’s dogwood loaded with blossoms; trees all around the ‘hood covered with little white flowers that look like apple blossoms but aren’t. Out at The Natural Gardener, apple trees do in fact have them. Sniffed one when on excursion to find the poppies that last year draped NG’s landscape in broad swatches of red. Planted a few in the steel planter and threw in handful of various seeds. Will be pleasantly surprised if no marauders gnaw nasturtiums before we get flowers. Anticipation meaningless without possibility of disappointment?

Note: trusting spring involves trusting nature. Nature’s been around a long time. Must work on trust.

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Elsewhere in the yard asparagus fern pushes for a comeback

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Queen’s tears puts out flowers that seem made of ribbon

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and amaryllis poke upward in a manner that summons Dylan Thomas (“The force that through the green fuse drives the flower…”). If spring arrives in Wales, certainly must arrive in Texas.

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Impossible not to wax poetic under such circumstances. Would think we’d just survived winter in Siberia.

Brassily announced to spouse the other day: I don’t think it’s going to freeze again. Gardeners expected to be in touch with nature in such magical ways. There’s a tree in central Texas that never buds out until the last freeze is well past, but can never remember which tree it is. Anyway, who needs to consult a tree when their connection with nature is sufficiently deep to make predictions on their own?

The two oldest grands were with us this morning. Hauled them away from electronics and out for an hour’s greenbelt hike. Signs of spring emerging from leafy forest floor.

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Fine mist hung in the air, settling on the ground enough to make rocks slippery; other than that a perfectly carefree excursion. Came home with rocks for cactus garden. Boys left for home at noon, leaving enough time to work in the yard until sore and grouchy. Took it out on useless leaf vacuum.

That stupid machine knows it is despised. Obnoxiously loud, with awkward and enormous bag that makes it a challenge to get around or between things. Not to mention that the strap at its shortest leaves the bag hanging far too low for comfort. Decided to teach the leaf vacuum a lesson by throwing it in the trash. That’ll show it.

The old in-like-a-lion-out-like-a-lamb thing may be true about March elsewhere, but here we have completely mastered Early Spring. All it takes is a little trust.

Sunday, March 2nd

Gray damp morning, rain expected. Envision day sewing skirt with new fabric from StitchLab. Floyd off early for mountain bike race out by Pedernales. Rain in forecast; says he won’t ride if it’s raining. 70 degrees at nine a.m.

52 degrees at ten a.m. Perfect day for sewing. Undaunted by weather forecasters’ prediction of hard freeze. What do they know? Travis a little sore from yesterday, so day of quiet will benefit us both. Rain on the roof, occasional brief downpours. Expect Floyd to return at any minute.

35 degrees mid-afternoon. Weather forecasters only ever correct with bad news. Skirt coming together nicely. Decided to retrieve several cold-sensitive potted plants from front yard and drag them into garage. Feel sorry for all the little animals out in the wild. Feel sorry for myself. Picture the deer huddled together in their sheltered spots. Spring has let us down.

Floyd arrives home looking muddy and half-frozen, with $25 third-place check. Tells me six guys in his age group started and two dropped out. Sounds like a great time. Find him in side yard hosing pounds of mud off his bike. Is dressed in heaviest coverall and what looks like fur-lined leather WWI bomber helmet complete with earflaps. Points out that this is not the first time I have laughed at him today. Resolve to be more supportive wife.

When he looks up race finishers, sees that in fact three guys of the six had dropped out. I barely crack a smile.

Travis spends entire day embodying essence of bored border collie. Comes to me periodically with sighs and saddest brown eyes imaginable. Brings pull toys, plastic bone, beloved pinkball. Looks longingly out back door but denies all invitations to go out and potty. Sorry, Dude, not playing fetch in house and not going outside in this cold wet windblown mess.

Give Travis a cookie. Mildly anxious about teaching dog connection between boredom and food. Explain over coffee and strudel why this is not healthy.

Skirt needs only hem. Waistband slightly tighter than I would like.

29 degrees at bedtime. Rethinking entire relationship with nature.

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