I see buds so subtle
they know, though fat, that this is no time to bloom.
~John Updike from “December, Outdoors”
Our local grocery store garden center does not do a brisk business selling buds. There is no market for the subtlety of potential.
Overnight unsold poinsettias and fresh evergreen wreaths were hauled away with the oddly shaped and drying Christmas trees to make way for containers of unbearably cheerful primroses and early forced narcissus and hyacinth plants. Now just a week into winter, spring is right in our faces as we wheel past with the grocery cart, a seductive lure to effectively skip a whole season of restorative quiet. Color and fragrance and lush blooms are handed to us without taking a breather and simply waiting a couple months for them.
Dormant plants and hibernating animals have the right idea this time of year. Rather than slogging daily through the daily burden of mud, skittering precariously across icy pavement or reaching up out of snow drifts, they are staying busy taking a break. Well fed and pregnant with potential, they remain alive and well beneath a facade of sleep. Come out too early and risk frostbite.
It’s no time to bloom right now — being a bud is exactly what is needed, no out of season blossoms need apply.
We can stay busy swelling with potential and dreaming dreams of the glorious growth to come.