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This week’s edition!

Out & About with Rachel Morin: Spring, spring, glorious spring!

Tulips blossomed shortly after my touring the neighborhood.

In light of our efforts to flatten the curve and keep our social distance, I have found myself watching for the coming of spring from various windows of my home.  This is not the way I like to welcome spring.  It brought to mind an essay I wrote a few years ago that seems especially poignant now as we are all so shut in and closed off.  I thought it was appropriate to share it again…

I woke up this morning and looked out my windows to see the huge mounds of winter-weary snow burying my back yard all winter, had “magically” disappeared overnight!   

Left in its wake are my 18 perennial flower beds in their brown/gray winter colors with accumulated winter debris—soft drink cans and candy wrappers dropped by careless walkers going by.  Scattered, colorful plant markers, showing where new growth will soon appear, offering signs of hope.  

 I see greenery emerging.  Green stems spring from daffodils and tulips.  Are those red stems from the graceful Bleeding Hearts?   On closer inspection, I see three Bleeding Hearts bursting through the soil.  

Multiple broken tree limbs lay willy-nilly across the back yard.   Thankfully, I see the wooden rustic fence bordering my property is still standing upright.     

Spring Season is here, a life giving, affirmation of rebirth in my perennial gardens.  I look forward to this season every year. I am impatient to get busy and prepare for the growing season. 

The harsh winter is over.  The memory of our three Nor’easters with the record accumulations of snow and the fierce winds adding to the high snow drifts is long gone.   Time to move on!

I walk the neighborhood eager to see more signs of spring.  There is winter tree damage for sure. Signs of neglect are uncovered by the melting snow.    Little boys now see what became of their red, blue and green trucks overlooked in the fall clean-up.  Are those Emma’s pretty red mittens forgotten on the picnic bench?  

Folks, clad in brightly colored spring-weather jackets, are out, rakes in gloved hands, cleaning out the brown, wrinkly leaves caught in shrubbery.  Others have push-brooms and are sweeping out driveways.  Everyone calls a glorious greeting about spring being finally here.  I move right along, echoing their greetings, but eager to return home to assess my own situation.  

Remembering my feverish attack on cleaning out my perennial beds two years ago, I reinforce my decision to pace myself and do “a little each day.”  The bursitis in both hips from that endeavor is still being treated with pool therapy.  My daily walks are a must to keep limber and mobile.

This does not diminish my love of gardening which I learned from my mother in my pre-teen years, watching her plant purple, yellow and lavender pansies.  Who knew, growing up, that I would delight in getting down on my knees and relish the feel and smell of the earth in my bare hands? 

And my husband, in our early married years, reinforced this pleasurable pastime as I watched him plant tulip bulbs in our side yard and create his masterpiece vegetable garden in the backyard.    

Moving to our new home 20 years later, the gardening of vegetables and berries became his project and mine, the perennial flowers.  This was a happy time we shared.

I am known as The Flower Lady in the neighborhood.  My family, friends, neighbors and shut-ins enjoy receiving the colorful bouquets I bring them.  This is my favorite part of gardening:  the joy of sharing flowers with everyone.  I even have requests when special occasions arise. 

I took a poetry class at USM Lewiston Auburn Senior College a few years ago.   Our assignment was to write an original poem every week.   Trying to come up with an article for this week, my spring poem was the inspiration for the springtime theme.  With apologies to our Wesley McNair, Maine’s Poet Lauriat 2011-2016.

Spring, 4-14-17, Spring is here!/I burst outside,/Closed in too long./I walk the neighborhood/To see what I can see./Melting snow reveals/Winter’s damaged trees./But look, perennial beds/Show green shoots rising./Daffodil and tulip stems/March boldly across beds.

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