Tulips on My Mind

I woke up today ready to make it a good one. Some days are like that…no second sleeps, no social media binges while cuddling under the quilt, no getting lost in endless internet searches on my “subject of the moment”. My current infatuation is The Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Only knowing it from Dorothea Lange images of warn women and dirty children, I am obsessing as I read The Four Winds…read a few chapters then Google images so I have visuals. A visual learner.

Tulips.

As I did my morning FB catchup of night owl and early bird posts…three color-drenched pictures of tulips popped up…standing tall, leaves so Georgia O’Keefe in their lady-like curves and goodness. Swoon. The photographer…my favorite teacher ever. The man who taught me to push myself, to explore, to research, to think, and to keep a neat desk…great lessons for a graphic designer…even better for a human. His post, a little present to start my day. Being able to have a little “chat” with one of your heroes while they walk through the grasses of Switzerland, and you lie in bed…um, thank you FaceBook.

Tulips.

We have them coming up all over our property right now. I bought 75 bulbs from a tulip farm last fall because you know, pandemic insanity. After giving many away, I was left with about 50 to plant. When I say that they were left for me to plant, what I really meant was, I assumed my mom would swoop in and plant them. I am not the gardener. I am the purchaser of supplies, the mover of dirt, the hole digger, the helper…my mom is the gardener. By the end of fall, as the ground was getting colder and colder, and the bulbs sadly sat on the counter…it became clear that I would be planting them. Fair is fair, her garden fed us all summer, I could and should, plant my own stupid tulips.

I am not a gardener but I do have the internet. A few searches and tutorials later I was digging up almost frozen ground to plant bulb after bulb. Hands caked in dirt, knees filthy and sore, back reminding me of my age…dig, plant, cover, stomp…and again. Little mounds of hopefulness filled every spot in the property that had been preapproved by the actual gardener. The ground froze, the snow came, then more snow, then one last dump. My poor babies buried, I had just left them out there. Sigh. I am not a gardener. Gardeners are patient, I am not.

The other day I noticed little spurts of green popping up all over. My tulips. They are everywhere. One or two of them already trying to burst open to show their colors and strut their stuff. It is glorious!

My swoons keep circling back to the same realization. Hard work, patience, growth, renewal, it all works out…just like the life of a tulip.

Swoon.

Morning walk in Belp, Switzerland. By the extraordinary Hans-Ulrich Allemann.

Published by Kat

A mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a graphic designer. I am flawed... but I try.

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