What’s up with Mother Nature? Has she forgotten to look at the calendar? It’s January, and she should be full of bitterness and coldness and frigid wickedness. Instead, it seems Mother Nature is having a bit of hot flash, teasing us with a taste of a spring fling.
That’s why I’m more inclined to envision Mother Nature as Scarlett O’Hara, flitting and flirting her way through the folks at a Twelve Oaks barbecue, while I am one of the admiring suitors gathered around her. My heart beats with every flutter of her eyelashes. My pulse races with each giggle of her southern feminine charm. The temptation is overwhelming. I so badly want to reach out and grab my rake to clean out the flower beds, to let my fingers sift through the soil, to plant seeds and to nurture them to full growth — and I want to do all of this without the protection of work gloves. I am hungry to be in the garden.
And then I snap out of my delusion for fear that I am becoming Charles Hamilton, the gentleman who was ensnared by Scarlett’s promise of, well, promise — so much so that he proposed to her and she accepted, although her heart truly belonged to Ashley Wilkes. (Frankly, my dear, I never understood that — all those years pining for Ashley when you had Rhett. Seriously?)
The truth is, Mother Nature, like Scarlett, is not going to keep up this charade. She’ll get a better offer in some other part of the world, exclaim a few “fiddle-dee-dees,” and be gone with the wind, the breeze from her crinolined skirts ushering in a deep-freeze blast of winter. Her departing giggle will be a constant reminder at how close I came to caving in to spring fever.
For now, I keep humming the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic show tune “It Might As Well Be Spring.” The lyrics (I tend to hear Rosemary Clooney) go like this:
“I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm; I’m as jumpy as a puppet on a string.
I’d say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn’t spring.
I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing.
Oh why should I have spring fever, when it isn’t even spring?
I keep wishing I was somewhere else, walking down a strange new street,
Hearing words that I have never heard from a man I’ve yet to meet.
I’m as busy as a spider spinning daydreams, I’m as giddy as a baby on a swing.
I haven’t seen a crocus. . .”
Huh? But I have seen a crocus. In fact, I’ve seen a couple. They may not have flowers, but their grass-like leaves have emerged just outside of the dining room window. And there are a few other hints of green sprinkled about.
Curses, Mother Nature! You are continuing to toy with my emotions, to try and lead me down the wrong garden path and make me do gardening things that I have no business doing at this time of year. But I will have to be strong and think of those gardening things tomorrow. “Afterall,” as Scarlett O’Hara realized, “tomorrow is another day.”