What Will Grow
By: Louise Innes
Tentative Spring steps forward, toddler-like she falters into a blanket of white snow and slowly pulling herself to standing, she shakily begins again her sally forth to summer.
On a warm afternoon in April, I step into my sun-kissed yard. Tiny green shoots puncture the cold black earth, plump red promises of blowsy peony blooms, thrust skyward, and the branches of the large crab apple tree shimmer in a chill breeze, pregnant with pale pink blossom. Hardy shrubs and small trees unfurl tiny, lime green flags along their bare stems and twigs and in between the decorative bunting for this celebration of renewal, the eye begins to pick up the gaps and spaces left by the death of winter.
Bare stems within which the sap will no longer rise, the Chinook side of shrubs wind burnt and frosted to a bone dry skeleton, and bare dark earth, barren and empty where once a beloved iris or bleeding heart once thrived.
There follows the gardeners mourning and regret. The bitter twists of goodbye, even as a guilty stash of garden center receipts clutter the back corner of the kitchen counter.
Turning back towards the house I take in the grass, a carpet of sunshine reflecting back towards the sky. Here is life! Racing forward to flower in a sea of yellow heads. Running to seed with ease as nodding clocks and floating parachutes, taking to the breeze can attest.
Dandelions will grow in this quixotic, cold climate, on a rough ridge of dry prairie soil shadowed by a city. I make the conscious decision to embrace this life force and enjoy the splashy colour of summer gifted so prematurely in the seasons without rancour.