Friday, May 9, 2008

Ah, May

May. All the trials of winter are behind me now. Forgotten the painful cold, the pounds of outdoor clothing, the itchy, dry winter skin. Treacherous icy roadways are of the past. Numb fingers scraping frost from car windows are no more. Moving tons of heavy white snow from place to place is but a dim memory. The life of a gardener begins anew every May.

Winter evenings I sat by the fire with glossy gardening catalogs propped in my lap (or rather propped on the cat that was sleeping on my lap). I dreamed of variegated miscanthus gently swaying in a summer breeze. I imagined tall phlox and tiny hummingbirds sipping their sweet nectar. Spectral roses shimmered behind closed eyelids. Those dreams are finally real. It’s May.

Surely heaven must look and sound and smell like May. This is the very best time of year. Hard work, digging, pruning, even cutting down tree limbs is a pleasure when the temperatures are in the 60’s and the sun is shining. I am filled with energy and optimism. This is the time of year when you don’t look ahead. Don’t think about what’s coming in July. Late summer is a gardener’s nightmare in Illinois, but today is a Friday in May, the weekend begins.