Amazingly, my miniature azalea is budding, the daffodil leaves are pushing out of the ground, and it’s only January 14. I should say that the inserted photo is not my azalea, but a photograph I took at the Japanese tea garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last spring.
I never cease to be amazed at the California growth cycle. Others are in the deep freeze or under a foot of snow and I’m basking in a warm day with a spring wind, tiny deep pink buds, and the promise of daffodils within the week. Life is unfair and I feel guilty when others have many weeks of winter still to endure.
Of course, I also miss spring signs that I used to see in more northern climes: the return of a robin in March or April; forsythia buds in April or May; the week-long Michigan spring where everything sprouted as if there was no tomorrow and we experienced a week of dizzying explosion.
Each place has gifts and limitations, which is its own life lesson. Nothing is perfect; nothing is complete. The opposite is also true, as everything offers something unique.
Last week, I bought bare root roses to plant. I buy one or two every year to add to what I have or replace plants that don’t make it (no one ever called me a “green” thumb). This year, I chose a deep lavender floribunda and a vibrant pink, almost red hybrid tea rose. This weekend, I will set them in the ground with the riotous hope that always comes with a new planting.