A winter reverie

Under snow polar-gold in pale sun not a pocket or a patch but a garden perhaps already starting below the ground: winter's strong evidence of the unseen. Not a sunless place but moderately lit. Come spring, down there, crowding begins. Out of a roothold gnarled and intertwined, out of old return peonies forcing their way upward stretching the narrows between our two houses, generously carrying my colors into space the full range of pale pink to deep red. And on through the summer, permanent, seeded, random, the quiet strong flourishing. If the word for them is angiosperm the mystery of origin remains hidden. Flowers answer to their names. And what more answer is needed? You breathe a garden for breathtaking's sake. Sometimes my neighbor comes to the window for the night air. I see promise in this. They write their names in alphabets as various as calligraphy's, intricate or simple, broad or fine, settled as strawberry plants or taking to heights like hollyhocks, compositions with an air of spontaneity, precise to design. Year after year old as years fresh as morning. Come summer, come festival, beds overrun beds. Golden earthy sunflowers, purple verbenas, blue phacelia, orange coreopsis, stalks of lupine, dandelions and clover, dainty and gross, clusters, ribs, columns: The secret griefs of unanswered questions fade into triviality. The thought of flowers bridges the time to flowers themselves bonding our silent stark houses, the duskier the shade the more luminous.

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