Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5: Paper Whites

A couple of weeks ago I bought a small paper bag full of paper white narcissus bulbs. That evening I put them in a bowl of rocks, added water, and set them on a table in the kitchen. Day by day the greenery has grown a little bit taller; some days I feel like they fit in growth spurts between one visit to the kitchen and the next. Now the tallest plant is a foot high, and they're all starting to swell with buds. They're almost flowers! From a tiny, dry, brown bulb to budding plant in two weeks--it seems miraculous.

Outside the sky is a chilly white, preparing for tonight's first snow storm (or so they predict). The squirrels have been active today, industriously chewing away at the Halloween pumpkin I put out by the mulch pile last week. At one point I saw just a little grey butt and fluffy tail sticking out from the half-eaten orange shell. Now, while two others chase each other over its head, that squirrel is grabbing chunks of the soft pumpkin rind and perching on a tree stump to eat them, stocking up in the face of colder weather and snow. From 68 degrees on Wednesday, with pelicans showing up in Spruce Head, to snow expected tonight. Another miracle of sorts. Nature is just full of herself.

Budding narcissus,
soon your perfect white flowers
will shine like new snow.

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