This is the time of year when I fall in love with my home and yard again. I begin to go outside and work in my garden, happy to see which plants have survived the winter. Yesterday I saw an iris ready to bloom that has not bloomed for 6 years!
The stinging nettle is returning as is the elecampane and the agrimony - herbs I planted years ago which come back every year. The artemisias and the mugwort are coming up. The evening primrose and the St. John's wort have expanded - yay! For the first time ever the rosemary is blooming! Thyme, oregano, savory and rue have survived. The peppermint and spearmint are flourishing. For many, these are not great accomplishments, but out here in the redwoods, cold, wet, dark winter conditions threaten Mediterranean herbs. There is not a lot of sun even in the middle of summer, because I live in a narrow canyon surrounded by hundred foot trees. But I am glad and hopeful to see each one that returns.
I notice that the bluebells are out in force, remembering that the daffodils did not do so well this year. I know they are still there, since gophers don't like them. The foliage came up, but no flowers.
There is still enough water flowing through the small creek that crosses beneath my driveway, for a mini waterfall from the huge pipe that got installed before my time. I am comforted by this sound of water...this is a safe amount. All is well. The reflection of the big creek it falls into shimmers on my porch roof. It is delightful to sit out there and eat my late breakfast, read, write and dream. Each spring I see that I am not ready to give it up - this life in the woods, despite the discomforts I endured this past winter.
In winter I swear this is it...I'm moving, I can't stand it anymore. Worrying about flooding, and suffering from the bitter damp cold for months at a time.
But then Spring finally comes and with it a whole new perspective. I managed to start some peas in my little greenhouse, then transplant them between rainstorms. Now they have found the mesh I installed for them to climb up on.
This year there are dozens of new redwood sprouts. In the 18 years I've been here, I have never seen so many. Part of me wants to pull them up as they will take over my garden if they survive, but part of me realizes this is Nature reclaiming the land. I remember that I will not always be here, but these trees could live for hundreds of years.
When I first got this place I made a commitment to protect the redwoods on my land...now I have a crop of babies! I should take this as a good sign and nurture them. The earth abides and I am grateful.