Hope, Freezing Weather, and the Heart in Winter
Roses from my garden, in the middle of freezing weather.Â Photo copyrighted by Lorna Tedder.
(written 1/22/09 –published in honor of Imbolc)
Â Iâ€™ve been told thereâ€™s a huge blessing coming for me in the Winter. Well, Iâ€™d say Winterâ€™s here and I have a wild sense of anticipation.
This is the coldest Winter Iâ€™ve experienced in the 24 years Iâ€™ve lived in Florida.Â Today is the third straight day the temps have hovered in the 20â€™s, and I finally gave up on my flowers.Â You see, usually the temperatures dip about twice into the 20â€™s during the entire course of the Florida Winter and that means that once or twice a year, I drag my huge potted plants into the garage and then back out, but just for a single night.Â This year, Iâ€™ve hauled them in and out half a dozenÂ different times before the usual quick dip of cold normally takes placeâ€”and itâ€™s still January!Â After at least 5 or 6 freezing days in the past 10, I finally decided I couldnâ€™t take the repeated migration of plants and just let the cold take my hibiscus pots and tree-sized begonias.
The usual fear is that we wonâ€™t have Winter at all.Â Thatâ€™s a problem here in Florida if January and February are too mild because we need at least one hard freeze to kill off the bugs.Â Iâ€™ve also always believed we needed at least one hard freeze to keep the fruit trees from blooming in February and being killed off by an early March frost. Now, Iâ€™m not so sure.Â Â The week after Christmas, temperatures here were beautifully back up in the 70â€™s for a few days and Spring reasserted itself at the first opportunity, with pine trees spewing yellow-green pollen everywhere and my roses blooming like crazy.Â
Thatâ€™s the thing that strikes me as odd.Â No matter how harsh the Winter, the rebirth of Spring still struggles to reassert itself and finally, finally, finally wins out.