February, you fickle month, I'm hungry for spring and here in Tacoma all you do is tease. You know how "easy" I am when you flirt. You lead me on with nice weather for a day or two and soon I'm taking off (some of) my clothes, slinging the windows open in the cold, getting urges to scrub the front steps, and especially, to fill my pots with flowers. Last week I wrote about snow. The past few days have been gorgeous. Now I hear the rain is coming back. You've always been like this, can't make up your mind. I need to ignore your fickle ways and calm down.
Like the watched stockpot that never wants to boil, or the watched stock portfolio that isn't even warm, whatever we nervously give our attention and worry to persists in its ability to exasperate. I trust that the seeds in the ground, the unborn bud inside the branch, the flower within the bulb, will all complete their missions, like every year. The daffodil seems weaker than the hard packed dirt and yet its tender green tips push up out of the gritty dark and damp. I have to believe Americans are as strong as these. I have to believe, even against what seems like the unyielding obstacles of hard times, we too will make it through. We must keep faith in our strengths and our will to live in the sun.
We need to slow down, observe more closely, and appreciate what we do have and the beauty at hand. The world may seem gray and cold, with winter as persistent as bad news, but even in the absence of all but a few flowers, I've found the color I'm hungry for and reassuring signs of spring. The bare branches of red twig dogwood stand out against evergreens. Our Lily of the Valley Shrub (Pieris japonica)glows golden among rhododendrons and burgundy Oregon Grape. In the drabness of bare dirt and bark, small, variegated leaves of hardy cyclamen delight me with their patterns. The heather blooms purple again. I've always loved you February. You're never dull. You remind me that life always changes and to focus on the good in the year ahead. I love you despite the way you give hope one day and hide it behind a cloud the next. I know hope is still there.