Quantifying Spring



Yes, April can be a cruel month, with its tease of warm, sunny days followed by raw rain and wind that whips away any heat I manage to absorb from the sun.  But there’s steady evidence that the season is, indeed, changing.

A week ago I looked out the kitchen window and saw that the garlic was up, four faint lines of green in the garden bed, shoots rising from the cloves I nestled in to the soil last fall. Also a week ago my sister Chris and her husband Jon came for an unexpected visit.  It was a clear day, but the wind was strong and chilly, and when the sun shifted so the back deck was in shadow, we moved to the front porch.  The porch was too windy. We tried the bit of lawn below the stone terraces, a low spot where the wind is blocked and the sun is strong.

Sitting in a circle chatting, I noticed how much taller the chives were.  I’d raked last year’s dried foliage off the clumps on Saturday, hoping to use some snippings for the dinner I was making that night for friends.  But the shoots were too small.  Now they were tall enough to cut and I wondered how fast they were growing; it seemed like they’d sprouted inches in just days.

So I measured both the chives and the garlic, two days apart.  The garlic grew an inch and the chives grew two.  An inch a day.  Solid evidence that summer is coming.  A few gray days, a raw day, a day of hard rain, doesn’t stop the seasons from following their course. When I feel a bit off course, I look out at my bed of garlic, green growing every day. Growth I can measure.

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