Something strange has been happening in my garden and it's got me thinking. Not surprising, really, because the garden is a beautiful place to have a ponder, and lately, when beauty and grace have seemed in short supply, I'll take it wherever I can find it, even if it means weeding.
Like much of the East Coast, our unusually warm summer has segued into an unusually warm autumn. Our first frost is four weeks behind schedule and counting. Raised in a Vermont snowbank, I'm one of those freaks who loves the cold, but even so you won't catch me complaining about this weather. Because instead of succumbing to brittle brown dormancy, my garden thinks it's spring.
Seedlings are popping up everywhere, fooled by the warmth into putting down roots and reaching for the sun.
I belong to the Tall Poppies Writers, a collective of smart, energetic, talented women authors, and grew poppies from seed packet the members received at last fall's conference. In early summer, they bloomed magnificently and when the winds blew and the rain lashed down, the tall slender stem leaned on each other, just as they were meant to. Every time I saw the flowers, I thought of my Tall Poppy sisters, and was heartened. These seedlings won't have time to bloom but I know I will see them in a few months time.
The weather has not only been warm, but also extremely dry. Every few days I water the fall vegetables I planted and take a few extra minutes to include the brave, misguided seedlings. I can't help it.
And that's what got me thinking. A little extra warmth was all it took to make November feel like May. Most of it happened without my intervention, but sprinkling some water now and then has made a difference. Not everything will bloom again; most will need the patience to wait for spring. But the seedlings themselves give me hope and remind me it won't be brown and dry in the garden forever.
Just look at the bouquet from my November garden.
Like you, I've been appalled, dismayed, angered, and disheartened by acts of hatred, stories of abuse and crimes against decency over the last several months. On this Election Day, I'm taking a lesson from my garden. The days may still be getting longer, but with a little warmth and a sprinkling of generosity, we can't help but grow, lean on each other, and reach toward the sun.
It's spring in November. Go high. #ImWithHer