Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A November fantasy

This has little--OK, nothing--to do with teaching science.
It's a reminder that the light will return.

Around the soft, green swelling mound
We scooped the earth away,
And buried deep the crocus-bulbs

Against a coming day.
"These roots are dry, and brown, an
d sere;
Why plant them here?" he said,
"To leave them, all the winter long,
So desolate and dead."

from "The Crocus," Harriet Beecher Stowe

First snow flurries today.
I may need to concede summer is over and find my coat.

The Pinetree Seed catalog came today, and I have a fantasy. Anyone in love is welcome to live it.

Order a hundred crocus corms (under $40) from Pinetree; get a clipboard; buy a cheap sweat shirt embroidered with your town's name.

Find a public space with lots of sun--the town green, a school yard, a vacant lot.
Plant the corms so that they spell your love's name, pointy side up.

(The clipboard and the sweatshirt will help when the police officer comes--tell her you're the official soil inspector for the town, checking for nitrates and pH. Keep talking about the particulars of soil management until the officer's eyes glaze over.)

Then wait.
Alban arthuan. Yule. Christmas.
The light stops dying.

Imbolc Groundhog Day. Feast of St. Brigid. Candlemas.
The weak light strengthens.

Alban Eiler. Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. Lady Day.
The sun's strength overpowers the darkness.

Find your stolen patch of earth, now busting out in flower.
If nothing grew, look around for chubby squirrels.

Fair warning, though--crocuses are perennials, close to indestructible, almost as durable as tattoos. A crocus patch can outlast a sliver of love.


Kate Tabor said...

I am actually planting spinach to over-winter. Hardly little fellows those spinach seeds, they hide beneath the leaf mulch.

But crocus are a grand choice. Snow drops and purple and yellow crocus are the first ones up, and every year the girls screech in excitement when they see them! I've never tried writing a name with them; I always assume that the squirrels will relocate them after I plant.

Lovely fantasy. Until the return of the light I suggest those beeswax candles that you wrote of earlier.

Tracy Rosen said...

Seed planting - with a purpose.

Yes. That is what we do.

Tracy Rosen said...


just tweeted:

Doyle's November Fantasy. He thinks it has nothing to do with teaching science. pfff. http://tinyurl.com/5grdzs 7 minutes ago from web