Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31: Tulips

Last day of January. We're entering the heart of winter. Apart from bundling up and enjoying outdoor snow activities as much as I can, another thing that helps stave off cabin fever is an indulgence in fresh flowers. This time of year, I'm unable to resist the colorful bunches of tulips that beckon just inside Hannaford's sliding doors. Orange, yellow, red, purple--the colors exhale a warm breath throughout my house to offset the whites and greys outside our windows.

While my outdoor garden has been reduced to dry stalks sticking above the snow, indoors the tight buds of tulips slowly open their petals to reveal the sensual beauty of each blossom's secret center, something Georgia O'Keefe might have painted. 

In a few months, after the snow melts and the air warms enough that I can rake off my flower beds, green spears of tulip leaves will poke up through the leaf litter, one of the first signs of incipient spring. But for now, the simple pleasure of my store-bought beauties will see me through. 

Red hothouse tulip,
your heart's an exploding star
to melt winter's blues.

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