As my blog readers know, I'm a firm believer that you should only complain about one season in any given year. More than that, you get boring. You’ve labeled yourself as a malcontent, and no one’s going to listen. Nor should they.
If you hate winter, so be it. Complain all you want. There’s lots to dislike. The cold, for starters. Same goes for summer. Can’t take the heat? Go for it. For some, like me, sweat and lethargy are serious downers. If you find fall too colourful and garish, you’re allowed. But that’s it. Whine about one season only.
Feeling this so strongly, I found myself in an uncomfortable position this week. I heard myself complaining about the brevity of spring here in Toronto and subsequent early onset of summer. The words mosquitoes and rain peppered my speech.
Not good. I had used up my allotted seasonal complaints this past winter, crabbing about everything from grey skies, slush and my inability to escape to warmer climes. People listened, empathized, patted me on the back, and let me do my thing.
So when I heard my conversation drift into seasonal negativity, I caught myself. The situation demanded an apology, the kind that begins with “Sorry to go on about this…”
This may be splitting hairs, but I need to think that I wasn’t so much complaining about spring as I was my own ability to appreciate it. Things keep getting in the way , and I haven’t been able to drink in the true beauty of my spring garden, particuarly. I’m left honestly disappointed.
Every spring, I wait breathlessly (yes, that is the right word) to see young peony shoots push up through old stems in the still cold soil. I stroll through my garden beds every morning, searching for signs that my Solomon’s Seal and oriental poppies made it through the harsh winter. I become ecstatic seeing a blush of green on the stems of my rose bushes, signaling that they once again held on to dear life, if only for one more year.
My peonies, Solomon seal, roses and poppies are all up and doing well, thank you. But I am not. As some readers may remember from a previous blog, we are renovating our kitchen. What does that have to do with my garden? Plenty.
Sitting right smack in the middle of on my front lawn and walkway, inches from the garden, is a refrigerator, dishwasher and gas stove, all wrapped up in plastic, tarps and dropcloths. Two by fours and packs of insulation wait patiently nearby, ready to be called into action.
It’s not a pretty sight. I look at my garden and instead of telling myself how beautiful it is, which it is, I want to scream at my contractor. “What the fuck is going on?”
Than there’s the matter of mosquitoes. Spring has been unbelievably rainy this year and we’re paying a price. The little devils clearly find the conditions an excellent breeding ground to spawn their offspring, gazillions of which are alive and well living on the premises.
I can barely go outside, particularly in the backyard where we have a pond. I did last night after work, however, and within minutes was “eaten up.". By the time I caved in and announced, “Enough already” and made a beeline for the back door, I had bright red welts on arms, neck, ankles and arms.
One last thing. The contract job I'm working at right now. The one that takes me to work on the 6:45 boat in the morning, and releases me in time to take the 6:15 boat home. It severely cuts into my let’s-enjoy-the-spring time. I barely have a moment to sniff in the lilacs and lily-of-the-valley. And what’s spring for if not to sniff in the lilacs and lily-of-the-valley? A planned trip to the Royal Botanical Garden's lilac dell never materialized. Alas.
So tell me. Does all this count as complaining about spring, or is it perhaps just a minor rant about the present state of my life.
Spring, as always, remains glorious.