Many trees are tinged with pink today, their blossoms swelling and bursting their little seed coats. The sun is shining between the clouds! Sunshiny showers we used to say. It is spring!
Whoops! Wait a minute. Is that a snowflake? And another one – in the first week of spring?
The tulip tree blossoms shrink – too late to sink back into their fur coats and wait for warmer weather. They will be black after the freeze tonight.
Not to worry. Ever cheerful, the daffodils bow their heads and wait. Tomorrow they will rise up, stand strong, and greet the cool sun with bravado.
I know many people who, like the tulip tree, shrink from adversity – try to slip back into their shells for protection. They may disappoint people who expect them to blossom on schedule.
It is the daffodils among us who are admired. Brave in the face of unwanted surprises. Striving forward. Maybe a slight pause but no diminishment in their determination to grow and bloom and show their colours. Cheering us along to be our best. “Come on – it’s spring. Wake up! Share your beauty.”
After such a rousing welcome, these cheerleaders step aside to let other flowers have their moment. Daffodils die down leaving only their leaves to bring them the nourishment they need to feed their bulbs. Then, even the leaves die. The bulbs lie low, creating new bulbs, unseen for the rest of the summer. Come next spring the daffodil clan, now enlarged by their winter growth, will burst forth in an even more wondrous display.
Let’s hear it for Daffodil’s – Spring’s Cheerleaders!
Now pause for a minute to consider the tulip tree. I look fondly at its disappointed blossoms now drooping in the sleet. Yes, they have missed their opportunity to shine this year. They are sensitive – they need just the right conditions to WOW us with their spring greeting. Yet, in the heat of summer the its spreading branches and large densely packed leaves bring relief from the summer heat. I may miss the spring display, but I am always grateful for the summer shade.
My tulip tree has graciously withstood the vagaries of the Midwest weather for 80 years and will bring me joy for many more years.
Let’s hear it for the Tulip Tree whose bounty continues all year long!
I celebrate all the plants our kind old earth gifts us with to bring joy in the spring. Don’t you?