Every year around this time I see my few remaining tulips come up and I berate myself for not having ordered and planted more in the fall. We've had a problem with squirrels digging up the tulips the past few years, so I keep thinking I'll address that before ordering more bulbs.
And then suddenly it's Spring again.
I've lived in this house and watched this garden come to life for twenty-two years. It's pretty easy to say "maybe next year" I'll plant those bulbs, because there's always been a next year. It's true that the toddler who was just out smelling the tulips actually graduated from college almost two years ago, but still, Spring keeps coming. And every year I look ahead to NEXT year's yard, with less chaos and more tulips.
As I've gotten older, however, I've begun to recognize the folly in always looking ahead. In the past year I've been witness to two sudden deaths, an Alzheimer's diagnosis, a stroke, and a fast-moving brain cancer that went from initial seizure to death in exactly one month, just in my immediate circle of acquaintances. There will never be another Spring exactly like this one for any of these friends, not will there be for any of us, really.
Instead of being overwhelmed with sadness about that, I sat out in my yard the other day, with the last few remaining tulips emerging and the weeds coming on strong, and I noticed something. In their haste to steal my tulips, the squirrels must have dropped a crocus bulb. There, in a spot I didn't plant, blooms a beautiful little clump of purple crocus. It's quite lovely.
This little sign of Spring is reminding me to appreciate the beauty, even in unplanned forms, that is right in front of me. I still plan on planting more tulips next fall, but for now I'm going to enjoy the Spring that's here, and not assume I have endless more.