stay, stay

viburnum in bloom

I watch the trees, decked out in their pink, white, burgundy leis, and I beg them to stay. You are magic! You are beauty! You perfume the air with your gentle scent. Please do not go green.

my wild jungle treepink explosion!

Tiny white petals are heaped in the gutters, in cracks in the sidewalk, in every cranny they can find. When a gust of wind passes through, it lifts the branches and carries the soft white rounds in a billowing, streaming flurry of springtime fairy snow. The petals are scattered everywhere; ordinary walking feels like a special occasion.

Stay, stay. Don’t succumb to uninterrupted green.

still budsbursting with white

But already on the branches the pinks are sharing space with green. Leaves are splitting open everywhere and crawling along limbs. The tulips have become old women, graying around the edges, losing body, fading. Only straight green stalks remain, like stiff soldiers milling around the flower beds and fields. The forsythia is long gone, the magnolia only a few stained tissues on the ground.

sedumpurple coneflower

In the garden: GREEN! Leaves aplenty—sage, lemon balm, ox-eye sunflower, the rose I thought was a goner, sedum, thyme, hydrangea, purple coneflower not yet purple. Will color return before we move? Will the rose offer its minute yellow buds before July?

Thankfully, inside, in the long planter, every last salad green has found its way out of the seed and is climbing toward the window. We will take these with us, bring the garden along. If we have to leave home, we’ll take home with us. By July, mesclun, arugula, lavender, basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary.

mesclun sproutssprouts up close

Stay, stay, I say to the redbuds’ red buds. Stay, I say to the lilac. Stay, I say to myself. Three years we’ve lived here. Don’t leave. Don’t leave these walls that have collected wild yeast and scuff marks and drill holes. Don’t leave these floors that have bowed under the weight of so many hundreds of beloved feet. Don’t leave these ceilings that have overheard secrets and prayers and have thrummed with music and laughter.

flowers on the tablephilodendron in the window

Oh, my heart is sad. Don’t be silly, I say to myself. You’ll be just a few blocks away. But a few blocks! That’s the difference between spring and summer. Between what has been and what will be.

What will be will be good, I know. But I’m bringing my plants along just in case.

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