Not So Foolish Worry


Post Storm Daffodil Bouquet

Post Storm Daffodil Bouquet

The third day of April, 2016, looks like, feels like, a January day. A winter storm blew in during the night— not the light and fluffy flakes of my recent Foolish-Worry post— but a wind driven, watery, stick-to-the pavement snow cover.

My effort at gratitude is fleeting. I worry for the baby tulips and flowering primrose shivering under the flower-pots I put down yesterday. I worry for the lily plants with nubile leaves and of course, the daffodils in full bloom matted down with ice. What will become of them?

By noon, the sun radiant, the lily leaves emerged, unharmed. The daffodils were barely visible, their necks bent, their blooms buried in snow. With gratitude, I watched a well-fed robin, fresh from a snow shower, pivot the plantings.

Mid-afternoon, I dressed for wind, wearing my purple fleece and snug-over-the ear cap. Pruners in hand, I clipped daffodil stems. I was gloveless and surprised at how cold the stems felt in my palm. Many of the blossoms, though frosted, were intact. Grateful, I gathered a bouquet of two-dozen to bring inside. Given that high winds and more snow were in the forecast for the next day, I savored them all the more.

The Alberta Express came through at night, bringing near freeze. At dawn, I checked the front garden from the second floor picture window. The picture was bleak. My garden was shrouded in snow.

It snowed all day long. April 4th might just have well been January 4th except for the yellow flashes of forsythia floating above snow puffs and the bud shapes outlined along tree branches. Yes, we have had similar storms in April. At my former residence, years ago, a magnolia in full bloom was severed by the wind. It recovered, thanks to good pruning. Twenty years ago, that storm seemed like an anomaly. My garden is teaching me otherwise. The warm winter, the frigid spring, the rapid temperature changes. This spring of 2016, so unusual and unpredictable, requires a different mind-set.

This was a week beginning with bare toes and flip-flops, which progressed to winter boots and snow gear. Bottom line, I get it. A little over a month ago, on February 22nd, the headline of The New York Times Science section read—“Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last Twenty Centuries.”

The article was casual in tone, but alarmingly specific in content. The Times wrote, “The finding are yet another indication that the stable climate in which human civilization has flourished for thousands of years, with a predictable ocean permitting the growth of great coastal cities, is coming to an end.”

I am grateful for the scientists who persist and are transparent in their findings. Denial is becoming less and less possible. As a gardener, I bear witness first hand. Yes, the daffodils survived as did most of the plants; but for how long? We can no longer avoid the presence of climate change or the need to do what we can to deter or remediate it.



10 thoughts on “Not So Foolish Worry

  1. Heather Christie

    In Pennsylvania, this winterish spring has also been scary from a climate change perspective. Your blog post illustrates the close-to-home nuances of a shift in our climate–it’s enough to scare any self-respecting gardener. I am still waiting to plant my flower pots! Thanks for your continued, insightful posts. Keep up the good work.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Heather, hopefully, soon your pots will be brimming with color. I so appreciate your continued support.

  2. Rosemary Booth

    I like the steady movement in this essay, from the opening tone of “not-so-foolish” worry to the much more somber note that emerges from the writer’s observations of havoc and destruction in a spring garden. I also appreciate how her small, matter-of-fact descriptions support an incontestable conclusion–that climate change is here, it is inescapable, and must be addressed.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Rosemary, sister traveler, thank you for “steady movement,” and “incontestable conclusion” in response to my hard wrought essay.I so appreciate your affirmation.

  3. Hy kempler

    You have a bird’s eye view and are a real witness to what’s going on.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Glad to hear from you on this all-too-timely topic. Impossible to deny as you well know! Thanks, Hy!

  4. Beverly Bader

    I have a lump in my throat when I think of how serious the problem of climate change is, and how helpless I feel knowing that it is destroying our atmosphere and the vegetation and animals that can no longer thrive! Your post truly grasped this feeling of worry and helplessness!. You were able to show, through your astute attention to your flowers in your garden, how we can no longer count on the good luck that your flowers witnessed this cold spring. Denial no longer works, even when we experience warmer than usual weather in the winter days. Your essay got me thinking about talking frequently about this major climate issue to family and friends, brainstorming together to come up with small steps to remediate this overwhelming problem. If we start sooner than later, hopefully we still have a chance to make important changes that will ultimately have a major impact on our climate. Beverly Bader

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Bravo, Bev! I so appreciate that you are bringing your concern to others to try to make a difference. The animals and vegetation can’t speak out but we can!

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