Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Plums

Growing up in New Jersey, February was not a happy month. That’s when snow turned to slush and the romance of the next snowfall had definitely worn thin. It was cold without Christmas spirit and the little candies we passed out on Valentine just never were that exciting. Well, until 5th grade or so when B My Valentine given to you by Pam Sliker awakened a little thrill and the same by Shirley Dennis felt a little gross. And goodness knows what the girls thought of the ones I passed out!

But February in San Francisco is the first stirring of Spring and it begins with the ritual blooming of the plum trees. One in my backyard, a whole street-full on Edgewood Terrace and scattered burst of pink throughout Golden Gate Park. Taking out the compost yesterday, I saw my first bud.

How I needed it. Goodness knows the human world is letting me down. Suddenly the ebbs and flows of politics that mostly stayed within a cycle bearable and contained by checks and balances has spun off its track, like the scene in Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train when the merry-go-round goes berserk. But the secret voice within the tree holds steadfast to its ancient pattern and there it is, that first pink blossom announcing the beauty to come.

I am stunned at the extent of naïve “it’s going to be just fine” hope that so may Americans have while the evil webs are purposefully being spun. But nature is never naïve. It holds true to its promise of death and resurrection and imperturbably flowers its way into the next season regardless of who is signing laws. That’s a place I need to remember to go to.

The first plum blossom is out. It promises nothing more than the fact of more plum blossoms. It is not a comment on my life or the carnival of daily news. But still it makes me happy to see it. Welcome, February.

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