IÕve never been much of a gardener, but for the past few years IÕve planted flower bulbs in the fall. The results have been about as pathetic as the effort that I spent to plant them. In each case, a couple of straggly looking crocuses and a handful of tulips were about all that made it through the winter.
But this spring, IÕm proud to say, itÕs quite different. IÕve got so many flowers popping up out of the ground IÕm not quite sure if they are all going to have room to bloom. My flower garden is already a mass of purple and white crocuses. When the tulips start their parade of color, it will be quite spectacular. The most amazing thing about all this isnÕt that the flowers are blooming. What I find so exciting is that they made it through five months of snowy hell. And I think thatÕs a miracle.
IÕm not talking about a small, run of mill, blink-and-youÕll-miss-it kind of miracle either. IÕm talking about the miraculous renewal of the planet. Given what weÕve been doing to the environment, I think itÕs incredible that life returns every spring, right on time. Between global warming, endocrine disrupting chemicals, radioactive contamination and water and air pollution the fact that spring shows up at all is a really big miracle.
They say that death and taxes are the two things that you canÕt avoid. But both those things presuppose the existence of life in the first place. So I think spring should be added to the list - glorious, beautiful, forgiving, resurrecting spring.
My seven year-old daughter has this lovely little book about the seasons. For every season, it explains how the earth changes. The final page of the book is about spring. It says that spring is the EarthÕs birthday. Every time we read the book together, I am overwhelmed by the how truly tenuous our existence is. Every day we are alive is a miracle, and that miracle is never more apparent that during these early days of spring.
The truth is that without it, life just wouldnÕt go on. Despite our planetÕs four and a half billion-year history, a single spring when nothing grew would end the life cycle as we know it. Once the store shelves were emptied, weÕd pretty much be done, too.
When I take an inventory of the people and things that I hold dear, I must hold out my hand in gratitude to the springtime that renews us all. My husband and children, my extended family and friends, the family dog and the tiny perfect flowers that are miraculously growing in my garden, are all brought to me courtesy of the fresh breath of spring. I think maybe itÕs time I said thank you.
WEBSITES OF THE WEEK:
April 29th to May 5th is Composting Awareness Week – a great time to swear off all those harmful and unnecessary chemicals and get with the composting program. The following websites have some great information about the benefits of composting and how you can set up your own compost bin:
The Composting Council of Canada is a national non-profit, member-driven organization with a charter to advocate and advance composting and compost usage. It serves as the central resource and network for the composting industry in Canada and, through its members, contributes to the environmental sustainability of the communities in which they operate. Check out http://www.compost.org
To read Natural LifeÕs composting primer, ÒCompost HappensÓ, go to http://www.life.ca/nl/68/compost.html
The US Composting Council is involved in research, public education, composting and compost standards, expansion of compost markets and the enlistment of public support. We provide a unified voice for the growing industry. Visit http://www.compostingcouncil.org/
Cornell Composting provides access to a variety of composting educational materials and programs developed at Cornell University. Visit http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/compost