I bought the most perfect annuals to plant on my stoop. I’m more of a dandelion girl than flower fan so I have no idea what kind they are. My criteria for Spring plantings are simple; lifts my heart when I look at them and won’t shrink away in relentless sun. The sticker says they thrive in full sun. I find the bold red on the soft pouty petals irresistible… so how could I resist?
But before I can plant new, beautiful things, I need to clean out the remnants of what used to be. The vestigial roots that keep anchored in the earth, unaware that they are dead. They still feel the blaze of the relentless sun that falls upon my stoop every afternoon. But the rain rolls off rather than soak in. Now and forevermore unable to receive the nourishment of the earth it is surrounded by. To me this process is always a little sad. As I wrestle with the dead roots, I think about the joy that bloomed when they were alive and now gone, still hanging on.
Once the sad and dirty task of clearing away the remnants of the dead season is done, the new flowers can take root and thrive. Sometimes I wait a while to do this.. which doesn’t make sense. Why continue to give time to what is dead instead of investing it in what is alive? This year I can’t wait to make that turn.
Each year I embellish the plantings with garden picks. Ladybugs, frogs, butterflies, more pretty things that make my heart happy. I usually take them in well before winter comes. Last year I left one pick out: BLESSED.
If anything could endure a Long Island winter, I figured, it would be something that proclaims BLESSED in the face of it. And endure it did. Left out alone to endure the elements, rusted battered, bent but never broken. Still standing upright. Still BLESSED. Just. Like. Me.
So as I embark on clearing dead things, making way for new life, I’ll keep BLESSED to remind me that although life can have its way with me, I can stand upright and belong among the beautiful things and will always be BLESSED.