How much can you possibly learn from snowdrops? by Tina Simson


I have several large plant containers turned upside down in my garden. Still filled with dirt, I flip them every fall because they are too heavy to carry inside, and upside down like this, they won’t fill with water and crack from the ice. The pots are clay and have small holes in the bottom for drainage. I try to make sure they are not covering any early spring plants.

I missed the mark this year. I tipped a pot right on top of a patch of forgotten snowdrops, the first plants of spring. Once I realized this, I figured it was too late. Small growth started to ring the pot and sprout green leaves and flowers through the snow and ice. I watched this and thought about all the plants covered by the container and an extra twelve inches of wet soggy dirt. I figured they’d just be stunted this year, struggling toward the light with no chance to celebrate spring.

I actually began to identify with these laden plants. You see my dad died last week. He had been in a downward spiral since January and, although in the end it was a peaceful and gentle passing, it was hard. I am weary and sad. I feel the same weight and darkness the snowdrops must feel, searching for sunlight and looking for warmth.

Then I walked out of my house yesterday into the beaming sun and cold wind. I walked around my yard fussing with this and that, cleaning out the bluebird house, hoping for guests this year, trying to find the promise of spring in my soul.

That’s when I noticed the snowdrops, in full bloom sprouting through the extra twelve inches of mud, peaking through the holes in the bottom of the pots. It was a simple reunion for the blossoms and me. I accepted the lesson.

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