Today was a day for reflection. It's amazing how much can change in a year. Last year on March 8 I was planting Grandma's irises in a big concrete pot in the snow at The Mini. I was trying to be hopeful and optimistic, because being realistic was just too sad. I didn't know when I was planting those irises that my uncle would pass away that day, that Grandma would pass away that summer, and that those irises would come to be a happy reminder of a sad year.
This year on March 8, the weather was suitably gray and the skies full of rain that didn't give way until the afternoon. It was a good day to reflect on the past year. The quiet of a gloomy day seemed a fitting tribute to those who were in my thoughts today. It gave me time to think. I felt oddly connected to so many other friends and family who I knew were thinking the same things. I didn't feel alone, even though I was alone most of the day.
So much has changed in a year. This year, instead of planting at The Mini in early March, I have watched my irises come up at our new house. I planted them in the fall like I was supposed to and hoped all winter long that they would come up. When their little green tips broke out of the clay soil a few weeks ago, I felt like a proud parent. Nevermind that they're just doing what they evolved to do. I was so happy to see them. They didn't remind me of the sadness of last March 8 at all. When I saw them, I heard Grandma laughing and my uncle playing the guitar--none of the sadness. It's like they sang to me of all the happy things they reminded me of.
This past weekend, the last of my bulbs that were expected to make an appearance for my long awaited homeowner springtime finally showed up. They were the three little daffodils I planted in front of the rock by our entryway. They came from one of the arrangements that I cherished so much after the funeral. I cut the leaves off, put them in sawdust, and waited patiently until last fall to plant them for the first time. Thank goodness nature works even after you chop it up, put it in plastic, move it across town, and make it take root in the construction refuse that is our yard.
As if all these wonderful signs weren't enough, my hydrangea seems to have pulled through the winter. Erik cautiously told me there was a good chance it wouldn't make it--he knows how much I have been pulling for this little survivor. Our cold snap this winter was particularly harsh for Boise and it likely caused fatal damage to many perennials that can overwinter here. He even supplied me with two new beautiful hydrangeas last month. Well I'm happy to report that I think we'll have three hydrangeas now.
I don't know what to make of the last year. It's had some incredible highs--which you undoubtedly know if you pop in here every once in a while--but also some of the deepest lows. I've finally come to understand that I will never be able to wrap my head around some of the things that happened last year--I will never be able to make them make sense. But I've also come to realize that finding hope in the springtime, memories in my flowers, and so much love in those around me is an okay way to deal with that loss.