...spring is here.
Even after a mild winter like this year's, it's hard for me to believe that spring has finally arrived. The mid-March heat wave - a meteorological aberration of the rarest kind, which caused trees and daffodils to burst into bloom several weeks early - felt dreamlike and unreal, as though the leaves and flowers brought on by the unusual warmth would all disappear when it ended. The warmth is gone, but the leaves and flowers remain - and this week I found the first violets.
For some, the first robin is the true herald of spring; for others, a change in the sky or the air. For me, at least since we moved to Wisconsin, the coming of the violets is the sign and seal of winter's end.
I don't know why violets hold such significance for me. Perhaps it's because I grew up in seemingly winter-less Southern California, which wavered between a perpetual spring and summer, and where violets were non-existent (but people grew nursery-bought pansies in December).
The white violets are the first to appear in our lawn, and this year they're weeks ahead of schedule. Soon will come the blue and purple violets, and we'll be well away on the delightfully slippery flowery slope that leads to lilacs and plum blossom, columbine and wild geranium, yarrow and hawkweed and dog roses and all the blossomy glory of spring and summer.
On an earthier note: even earlier than the violets this year were my chives, which sprang from the ground with a glad cry some weeks ago, and have been springing ever since.
They're now about a foot tall, and some of them adorn my breakfast eggs every morning.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~