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The Metaphoric Garden Of Our Single Springs

I love my garden. Technically, garden[s] plural, I suppose, as there’s one in the front yard and one in the back. I’ve owned this house for over 25 years.

But I have to say, I don’t much care for the Here Comes Spring Again part of the process. So much budding greenery. What if I don’t want to feel cheery, come April? How dare fresh leaves bear the sun so well?

I’m far fonder of Dear God It’s Winter Already. Because in all honesty, sprouting and growing and blooming and fading is an impolite reminder that we too shall die.

And I don’t want to. I find life, sheer consciousness, to be the most astonishing thing imaginable. I get to breathe? I have eyes? Skin? I can’t quite believe it’ll be over some day. I call it the Death Problem.

So I grumble at new growth. How dare my flowers regenerate when I cannot?

I forgive them only in their moment of beauty. Dangerous approach with people, works well for flowers. Whether at dawn, midday, afternoon, or grey skied twilight. Everything has its time. Except white roses, of course, who pretty much rock it day in, day out. Emphasis on days in, for as long as we can.

Images by LPC. For more posts on this theme please go here.

41 Responses

  1. I’m the opposite – Winter reminds me that one day I will not be, and Spring is a wonderful time to savor the fact that I am. Now.

    Besides, I suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter is rarely pleasant.

  2. I’m the opposite and love the summertime. I was born in the stifling heat of August before the days of air conditioning. Maybe the heat is in my blood, but I don’t want to be cold ever again. Bring on the flip flops.

    Your garden is very pretty Lisa. Everything must grow well in California.

  3. I can relate to your post. As the flower time is yet very far over here, and off very quickly too, I am not a garden person.
    Sure, I like to look at gardens, if they are beautiful, but I´m not a person, who spends time planting and trimming my garden, which in fact is a yard, pastureland for horses. I like to see them grazing on our yard and taking care of my garden: )!

  4. We seem to be in a similar frame of mind. Thank you for this succinct and honest writing. But I do think stopping to notice is the only antidote to that feeling that time is a racing train.

  5. Ugh, I hate, hate, hate winter. Hate it. It’s so dark and depressing and lifeless.

    I’m thrilled whenever it’s NOT winter, but I like spring and summer the best.

  6. Love spring and fall. The “death problem” doesn’t really resonate with me – perhaps the 12 years I spent as a Hospice Medical Director?

  7. Lisa, we can all relate to this as each year passes. However, for me, the impossible cheerleader and believer in all things good, I still believe in our infiniteness. We are just too perfect not to go on forever in some form, we just haven’t figured it out yet. Contrarian you are, but your thoughts are always profound and I love hearing what you have to say.
    So happy I know you.

  8. I’m more like Jan, above, as every winter I have the fleeting thought, at some point, that it’s the season when people die . . . Spring and summer, it’s perhaps easier to feel absorbed in the moment, so that time pauses.
    And then, too, although our weather is much, much milder than that in the rest of my country, we still get a taste every winter of “that which can’t so easily be survived” (days of prolonged frost, shut-the-world-down snowfalls). Spring’s invitation to leave the jackets at home is ever so welcome.
    But I love thinking through your wry perspective on a season, you subversive Sturdy Gal, you!

  9. I do adore the fresh blooms of Springtime; Autumn is still my favorite season!! I try not to think about death…life is so precious!

    Art by Karena

  10. I love the quote that Mary Engelbreit coined “Bloom where you are planted”
    I agree that gardens are a cycle and they are a reminder of our own mortality…
    your words are honest and poignant.

    I prefer to block out any negative thoughts of my demise and press on and tend the job at hand wether it be weeding or sowing seeds.

  11. beautiful. Absolutely gorge. I looked out the window in the middle of my night shift last night and it was snowing. In April. Welcome to Scotland. Luckily it melted before I got out to the car or I would have had a temper tantrum.

  12. Your anti-spring sentiments remind me of Ogden Nash’s Jarvis Gravel, who hated spring. “…anything vernal/was to him strictly infernal” He was the one who “when he finally did marry a girl who made his pulses quicken/It was merely because her name was Gail Winterbottom, and she was no spring chicken.”

    –Road to Parnassus

  13. Simply beautiful!
    I love the way you see your garden by not missing the little wild flowers!

    Happy Springtime and greetings from the Périgord,

  14. I love the St Vincent Millay poem someone posted above. But I like to think that most people are trees and not petunias, that we will pass through many winters of the soul and return to bear more fruit, before finally succumbing to gnarled old age.

  15. Beautiful photos! You are right, gentle reminders they are of our own fading light. It’s an early, early spring here in the Ct and everyone is worried beyond belief that the few frosty nights we’ve had will serve a blow that even our hardiest perennials will not withstand. But they do. They just roll with it. I like their approach, so I’m rolling with it, as best I can. That maybe, most certainly one day I will be pleasantly surprised as I enter the recycle phase. Great post!!

  16. I love reading your comments almost as much as I love reading your posts. Always something to learn here.

    Spring, at the moment, feels “wrong” to me, since we were robbed of a proper winter, and I think it’s made me a bit out of sorts.

  17. Dear Lisa,
    What a brilliant take on our BIO post. I think that we all think like that at times but, most of the time we enjoy the things around us. I actually love the Spring, the new green growth, the warmer weather and the thought of the Summer being on it’s way, but I also see your side of it. I am a ‘bury your head in the sand’ kinda gal !! When I feel those thoughts coming into my head, I quickly think of something pleasant and it goes away !!
    What a wonderful thought-provoking post. XXXX

  18. I get a little sad with the first signs of spring also, which seems illogical (why not get sad at the onset of winter?) but I suspect is due to the fact that I have a late winter birthday. It usually passes quite quickly. Our daffodils, hyancinth and pansies are quite beautiful, and early, this year in NY.

  19. Cherry blossom time is magic to me. Bearing the “death problem” in mind, every year grateful I live to see and feel it.

    Hardest are longer periods without sun, no matter what time of the year. I remember an autumn, three or four years ago, we had not a glimpse of sun for ten weeks. That`s really depressing.

    The photos of your garden are lovely!

  20. The ‘death problem’ is a great way to put it. Not having experienced anyone close to me passing, I’ve had my beloved mother die last year and my grandfather-in-law (is that a thing?) die this morning. It seems very broken to me that we spend our lives working hard, doing, being, creating, thinking and then suddenly, we’re gone. That’s it.

    As a Christian I hold out some hope of an afterlife, but have no idea what to actually think about it… (I was a lot more certain before I knew people who died!). Anyway, I am certain that the people we love are no longer here, wherever else they may be.

    It makes ‘gather ye rosebuds while yet may’ seem a bit desperate. I think one of the things I’ve struggled with in aging is the realisation of how finite life is – you just can’t be and do everything you’d like to… You have to make your choices as best you can and close the door on regret. It’s tough.

  21. Hi Lisa, Your images of the garden are lush and glorious! And you thoughts very deep… and thought provoking

    Lisa, it is just our tents, our bodies that will not live on.We are far more that this body! We were made for eternity! Spring is that promise! Take hope…

  22. Gardens, the ultimate metaphor. I too have the Death Problem. As I’m approaching my 60th birthday, I’m acutely aware of even with good luck, and all my hard work to stay healthy, that old age and death are coming, and I’m not accepting it gracefully. I’m angry about it. I don’t understand why I’m 59, when I feel 17. I have a very good and happy life right now, for which I’m grateful, but still, I don’t want it to ever end. Bottom line!

    1. Oh yes, I hear that. I’ll be 60 (!) this November. How did this happen to me? It comes to us all. I do like spring, with the blooming trees, sweet peas and all of that.

    2. Luck of genetics, on both sides. Nothing more. And although, at times I do love my work, at other times, like everyone else – I can’t stand it and want to quit.

  23. oh, that rain-drenched pink flower! drunk with rain! I find that realizing the miracle of being alive comes to me often at the oddest moments.

  24. Hi Lisa. I love your take on the BIO, contrarian as it is, it is true and we need to constantly overcome, anf that in itself takes much energy!!!?? but alas we succomb to Spring a some kind of spiritual reneval if not being able to erase the wrinkles, at the very!

    Thank you for sharing you story with me and for your encouraging comment… I look forward to a happier time indeed and know I will get there.

    Happy Easter


  25. I feel so alive in the Spring it is Autumn that reminds me that my years’ are numbered.Ida

  26. I have enjoyed spring until this year. The garden is filled with leaves that didn’t get removed in the fall. It all seems like so much work and the flowering trees make me sad. Insightful post.

  27. I love your boldness and honesty…however, for me as much as I hate what is happening to me year by year, I still cannot wait for spring. It still speaks to me of life and rebirth and new possibilities. Thanks for your post!

  28. I love the introspection of winter, which in my romantic imagination holds the germ of spring in its dark gray hands.

    Spring is over far too fast, and the dread scorching heat of summer arrives and seems to last longer each year.

    For us flora of the Homo sapien variety, there’s always botox, right? But though I wouldn’t judge another’s decision to use it, for me it would feel rather like cheating.

  29. I can’t bear winter, thats another reason why I love Soiuthern California, even in December roses and flowers bloom, I cried when I touched flowers the last time I was over at that time of year, we have nothing but mud black detritus to look at for 4 months.

  30. I’ve read this post and never gathered my thoughts enough to comment. I love spring as it speaks to me of the promise of creativity and the rebirth of the mind although fall is my favorite season. What you describe seems akin to something that often plagues me in the summer, usually when I have just enjoyed a delicious bite of some perfectly ripe piece of fruit and I am filled with that combination of pleasure and dread, perfect ripeness being, as it is, such a brief minute away from decay. It is always there that knowledge, mocking us. But better to savor the beauty I think.

  31. “I forgive only in their moment of beauty. Dangerous approach with people, works OK for flowers.” Indeed. Where was this when I was 25? (Not that I would have listened, but . . .)

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