Year of the Artichoke

This year spring has arrived with a whimper, heralded by icy rains and hard-frost mornings, dense fogs and high winds. Crocuses sat for weeks with lonely daffodils, waiting for an early rush of greenery and blooms that never appeared and snow clung to low hills with alarming tenacity. Now, the daffodils are stooped from frosty mornings and the cherry blossoms float like snow through the air, carried by whipping winds.

I do not know what to make of this.

My mind fights back perseverations on hidden meanings of such an extended winter, dark thoughts of warnings, canaries, and the consequences of these strange and changing times. I try hard not to take each cold rain as a sign of impending doom.
And then, hope, in two small leaves. The sad artichoke I planted years ago, in a time of personal tumult and trial, the artichoke that has been eaten by squirrels, frozen solid, stomped on by the children, burned in summer heat, and generally mocked for it’s diminutive stature (it stood, at its best, just six inches high), lives.

And that, I tell myself, is enough.