Monday, March 10, 2014

“In Between Gardens”

            In San Antonio, winter blows into the area the end of October and teases the trees with forcefully cold winds. It dusts grass with frost, and may sprinkle snow, like powdered sugar, over bushes and parked cars. Sometimes rain visits the area when the temperatures drop, treating us to fingers of ice or sleet. And we hit the pause buttons on our lives. We stay home, hunker down, and wait out the freeze—which means a twenty-four hour stop in our routines. Bad weather pushes her way out as quickly as she invites herself in.
            Our gardens and lawns already show signs of spring. Dandelions bob their heads in the soft midday breeze. Crabgrass crawls across the yard, playing with sleepy Bermuda. Dead-looking Plumbago sprouts up from around the roots of last year’s plants while Mountain Laurel fills the air with purple Kool aide scents. Live Oak leaves turn dusty and brown before they fall to the ground in defeat.
            I wait and watch. Impatient to see who won against winter. Will the ferns fight back and uncurl their delicate fingers soon? Will the clover return with its delicate pink blossoms? As I clear away the papery pulp of my Wandering Jew, I know by May this hardy groundcover will have returned to full glory.  
            My gardens and yards transform daily. Sometimes I believe I can hear the growth, if I listen carefully. So right now, the status remains in flux—my gardens poised between death and life.

Copyright 2014 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman