It’s the worst week of the calendar year for gardeners


By Jill Severn

Sunday morning dawned late, chilly and foggy. You couldn’t even explain dawn as “getting gentle,” since it definitely didn’t.  It only obtained as considerably as dismal gray. It wasn’t right up until mid-afternoon that the fog cleared, and we experienced about 90 minutes of sunlight in advance of the sky turned grey and, a tiny soon after 4:30, the curtain came down and it was dark again.

In mid-afternoon, a neighbor walking by stopped to complain about the impending darkness as I was cutting back again the peonies. Their foliage presented pleasant slide coloration for a though, and then they collapsed in a depressing heap.

That is when it arrived to me that this could possibly be the worst week of the 12 months for gardeners. The sky is lower, sunlight is scarce, and it is acquiring colder fast. Fallen leaves have turned to mush on the streets. Each and every working day is shorter than the last, and the solstice is even now just about a month away. And even then, it is a further thirty day period right before the times become noticeably longer yet again.

We wish we could hibernate like bears and slumber by this time of 12 months, or flee to heat, sunny areas. But when would we want to awaken or return? Some folks I know flee until finally the commencing of April, but they overlook really a whole lot: snowdrops, crocuses, the 1st flowering of daffodils, forsythia and daphne. Other folks occur again before, but they report currently being dismayed and frustrated by the shock of coming dwelling from Palm Springs or Mazatlan to the grey chill of the Northwest.

There is truly no foolproof escape from this annual dying of the mild, any additional than there is an escape from the grief we come to feel when we master of a loved one’s demise. Wintertime is the selling price we shell out for spring – or maybe it is extra correct to say it is the price we pay out for spring, summer months and tumble. Surely that is a deal, just as existence alone is.

But correct now, it is not genuinely even winter yet, and knowing that made this past week all the more challenging. So here we are, raging towards the dying of the mild, grieving the deaths of this year’s peonies, the fallowness of all our flowerbeds, and the lost enjoyment of solar-ripened tomatoes.

It is no ponder this 7 days was the time we turned to one thing else – Thanksgiving – for comfort and ease. It’s also no speculate we’re out placing up vacation lights on our residences to ward off the darkness. And it’s most likely not a coincidence that Hanukkah’s competition of lights comes this time of 12 months, with a single congregation organizing a parade of brightly lit vehicles traveling from Tumwater to the Olympia downtown waterfront this Sunday.

This darkish chilly time will pass. And though it’s listed here, we will occur to phrases with it. We will switch to publications, motion pictures, crafts, and to each individual other to get via these very long evenings.

We will rediscover our warmest jackets, and relearn how to delight in walks in the cold. We may possibly observe the lacelike branching designs of bare trees, and admire the sturdiness of recently visible birds’ nests, nevertheless in position following November windstorms.

We will also target our time and consideration on preparing for the historical, probably prehistoric celebrations that nonetheless take place on or shortly soon after the initially working day that is for a longer period than the final a single.

Christians generally talk to “What would Jesus do?” Nicely, evidently the first factor he essentially did was to occur into this planet just a handful of times following the solstice, as the days have been beginning to get extended, not shorter. Now that is divine wisdom.

Proper now, no matter of our faith or deficiency of it, we are just waiting around, large and anxious  (not contrary to expecting Mary) for that rebirth of hope and renewal.





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