Some of my spare time of late has been spent pruning roses.
In April? you say.
Yes, in April, and now in May. My roses are running riot all over the fence on which we intended them to climb, the fence Bill put in for me when we finally pulled those red-tip bushes out and let some light into the yard.
They didn’t bloom much the first year. When we planted them they were sticks, and they were looking pretty hopeless.
Then last spring they exploded, and I hobbled outside on my crutches to admire the layers of petals.
This spring I am on my own two feet, and I can hardly keep after the pruning, the cutting, the arranging. I have a glorious bouquet in the dining room and another one on my dresser; Emma Grace has one next to her bed. I have given bouquets to friends and neighbors; I invite people to cut their own; tomorrow I’ll cut more and make a bouquet for the coffee table.
I love this.
A few evenings ago I was out, yet again, cutting roses and talking on the phone with my sister Meghan, who lives in Alaska. And as we chatted, as I snipped, I couldn’t help but exclaim over the ostentation of beauty that is lining my driveway. Because, really, these roses are immoderately exquisite and almost obscene in their profusion. One must– really– comment.
Meghan heard me, of course, as she also heard, I am sure, the crickets chirping in the background. Moreoever, I was wearing shorts, but I don’t know if she knew this.
“Meanwhile,” she said to me, “do you know what I woke up to yesterday morning?”
“What did you wake up to?” I asked.
“Seven more inches of snow,” she said. “I am so ready for spring. The bean plant that Elisabeth brought home from school has a bean on it, and the grass that Jill brought home has been mowed for the second time. We are definitely ready for growing things.”
I laughed, and I told her I would write this, and I went on snipping my roses, imagining my dear sister, in wool sweater, wielding scissors, brooding over slender grasses that have extended Too High over the rim of their styrofoam cup.
Spring will come to you too, Dear Sister. It always does.