May 05, 2008
We've lived in this house for nine years now, and every spring, when I see daffodils and tulips blooming in other yards, I think to myself, "How come I didn't plant any bulbs last fall?" I plant lots of stuff in the spring — bushes, trees, perennials of all types — because the rewards are so immediate. But planting bulbs in the fall requires the kind of forethought that I am not known for.
Last fall, though, I did it. I bought some bulbs and spent a sunny afternoon planting them. It was therapeutic. I had been moping about, feeling sad about something, in one of those melancholy feeling-sorry-for-myself moods, and I can remember thinking as I planted the bulbs that by the time they flowered, spring would be here, and my melancholy mood would be gone.
So I spent a few hours planting the bulbs and then promptly forgot about them. Just the act of planting them, pushing them down into the soil with my fingers, had cheered me up. The bulbs lay under the snow all winter long, and when the last of the snow melted last month, I was surprised and pleased to see green shoots poking up out of the earth.
Today, the red tulips bloomed, shining brilliantly against the brown earth and green grass, looking strangely formal in my woodsy front yard. I'd had red tulips at the last house we lived in — bulbs given to me by my father-in-law, who loved flowers and who died before we moved here. And my mother has always had red tulips in her yard. After a winter of mostly white and blue, the splash of red in my front yard makes me smile every time I walk out the door. And the thing that was making me sad when I planted them — well, I don't even remember what it was.
Posted by jo(e)