So that's all very exciting!
Then, yesterday, I received via snail mail my first of what will soon be many garden seed catalogs. I should admit along with this feigned shock that on Christmas evening I had already surrendered to the urge for green and browsed the Internet (yes it was Pinterest, okay??!!) for gardening images and such. I just can't help it.
Once the holidays are over (or shortly before the last hurrah) I have this intense biological craving for growth and freshness and live greenery.
It so happens that coinciding with all of this chlorophyllic anticipation... a bowl of paper white bulbs which I have been nursing since around Halloween has been on the verge of blooming.
This morning I just felt like it could happen at any moment, and since this will be my very first ever batch of successfully grown indoor flower bulbs in my whole long life! ...I did not want to miss the big moment.
So for the bulk of my morning I sat contentedly next to the Christmas tree with my shiny new PAPER planner and a sharpened pencil and some orange juice and just watched it, this little glass bowl of promise. I watched the thick, fleshy stems bend indiscernibly toward the sunny east window. And I rotated the bowl gently to face the darker wall. Then the stems stretched again to face the sun. Back and forth, keeping the vertical, verdant lines as straight and strong as possible. I watched the towering bulbous pods atop those stems grow more pregnant with expectation, hour by quiet hour.
Watching the slow, silent ballet of life take place on my coffee table, I was reminded of the magic, the miracle of living and dying. Of growth, transformation, yearning, and regeneration. I also wondered who the heck do I think I am forcing these bulbs to do the impossible?? ...to bloom outside of their appointed times?
But then I remembered Russia and all of her abundant hot houses in the midst of those endless winters . And the power of grace, the very real presence of blessings we do not deserve. Flowers held warmly and mercifully inside glass rooms where the frozen tundra can't hurt them. Love and joy held securely in our hearts and homes where darkness cannot creep in and steal them.
"In the depth of winter,
I have finally learned that within me there lay
an invincible summer."
Mostly, you guys, I am just so excited to start planning the gardens for 2013 and begin work on composting, ordering, seed starting, etc. And I will try my best to be fueled by this excitement rather than paralyzed by it this year.
But deeper than that, I am thrilled to be so in touch with the beauty of life. With all of its challenges, despite all of its inevitable pain, this world is so beyond words beautiful. And life is so rewarding when you actively live it.
Don't be afraid to force bulbs a little ahead of springtime. I can't believe the difference this one spot of green makes in my living room! And don't be afraid to cultivate little joys, either. They may be exactly what lift you out of the darkest, coldest rooms of your life's winter.
As I wrap up my midday chores and end my coffee table vigil, the paper whites have not quite bloomed. But I know they will. And in the mean time I am happy to watch and wait for that beautiful miracle.