Groundhog day, as well as the pagan holiday imbolg and its Christianized counterpart, candlemas, all share a similar theme. Falling midway between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, they mark and signify the first stirrings of spring deep within the earth – even while winter may still blanket some parts of the world in snow.
New year, new garden, new hope: While cleaning with B. all the construction rubble from our completed back stairs renovation, clearing away remaining nails, screws, and debris, I felt tempted to scream, “It Lives! It Lives!” a la Dr. Frankenstein. Amazingly, I discovered the plucky little shoots of black grasses, forget-me-nots, and spider plants under our camellia tree. How they managed to stay alive, trampled and buried under cement and wood is beyond me. But it reinforces the idea of the stubborn force, in all living things, often in the face of great trauma and tribulation, simply to continue staying alive! The small grey bushtits (I didn’t make up the name, I swear) and yellow-rumped warblers (again, not my name) in the trees seemed to echo my newfound excitement, twittering and chasing each other midair, even stealing a bug or two from a stray hummingbird. Their songs were so sweet as they went about the business of finding food, they soothed my troubled heart. I watered and watered, gently pulling shoots out from under the rubble, giving them a good, long drink. The sun, in no short supply this dry winter, should encourage them further onward and upward. Working together in the garden was such a great feeling, it reminded me of when I first moved in w/B. and the “garden” was only a camellia bush and a rose, both completely overgrown, like the rest of the plot, with ivy. We carefully tore most of that ivy out and transplanted things, realizing that more was hidden underneath than we realized: ferns, calla lilies, mosses, clover, as well as weeds. Toiling in the dirt together, again with much hope for the future. Such joy, such incredible joy.