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Friday, March 19, 2010

Bring on Spring! (March 19, 2010)


Every February I notice with glee that something has arrived, changing everything overnight. Even if the skies are gloomy over gray miles of concrete connecting San Diego, when the freeway flowers bloom overnight, my whole world looks bright. The highlighter-orange flowers pop up from the ice plant bordering the freeways, their blossoms like spiky heads of hair, poking in all directions. There are also yellow ones, fuchsia flowers and this year, even some purple blooms. Our rainy winter is paying dividends.

Some people might find the brightness of these flowers to be too much. Others may prefer exotic flowers that must be carefully tended in a greenhouse. Not me. I love that these bright spots of color thrive with no planned watering. Their brightness is exactly why I dig them so much. They aren’t pale pastels, timid and unobtrusive. NO! They are bold and vibrant, the equivalent of a cheer, when other flowers are whispering.

Even in San Diego where sunshine, not snow, marks our winter, spring makes a grand entrance. I started noticing the freeway flowers about a month ago, but now they are heralding Spring in full force, parading down the freeways’ edges in random bunches. Tomorrow is the first day of spring, according to my calendar, but for several weeks flowers have started to bloom everywhere. Tiny fruits, the size of green peas, have crept out of the branches of our peach tree. Brand-new green leaves dot trees that were bare a few weeks ago. It’s a coordinated explosion of life, and I am thrilled each year when it starts. I wonder if we’ll have a newborn batch of hummingbirds in the nest hidden in our Jasmine vine, as we did last April. Suddenly, everything seems different. Daylight Savings started six nights ago and the days already feel warmer. The growth and warmth and colors all bring such optimism. It’s hard not to feel happy as this season arrives.

Spring? Yes, please!