Thursday, March 18, 2010

A crocus grows right through the grass

One of my favorite spots in The Berenstain Bears Almanac is when spring comes to Bear Country. Brother Bear alterts young readers of the tell-tale signs of the glorious world turned anew.

"How will you know it's spring? There's slush and mush from melting snow. Birds sing. Plants grow. A crocus grows right through the snow."

Typed from memory, hearing my mother's voice and her particular stressed and unstressed syllables, I see Brother kneeling near a slushy white glob of melting snow and the lovely yellow crocus popping up to greet him. There's a touch of relief and gratefulness to his expression, indicating that, had he to endure much longer the winter, he might have inched closer to the edge.

When my kind neighbors told me all kinds of cute little flowers pop up in my yard each spring, I didn't imagine crocuses. I more imagined Creeping Jenny or Creeping Charlie (a Minnesota thing -- as a Colorado/North Dakota native, I'm still not quite sure what it looks like). While not golden like Brother Bear's, my purple and white spring gems bursting through dormant grass weave brought me a kindred relief and renewed faith -- after the bleakness of winter, spring and rejuvenation follow.

Later, when sitting around the campfire with my backdoor neighbors (the friendliest neighborhood in which I have ever lived), I learn that the people I bought my house from planted the now-bursting bulbs about eight or nine years ago, and they've continued to flourish and spread over time. I learned as well that the couple stood on the front porch, launched the bulbs into the yard, and planted them where they fell.

Kooky and sweet from other stories I've heard and evidence left behind in my home (they ceremoniously left me two bottles of wine in the fridge when I moved in), I thank the sellers for the wine and my delightful lawn crocus blooms.

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