Dreams of spring cleaning
Spring is coming. I can feel it at the genetic level: the domestic genes I inherited from my mother have activated themselves in the past three days. Normal thoughts of house maintenance have given way to dreams of spring cleaning, rearranging, and item-tossing. As a result I've caught myself resembling my cats, prowling around the house and looking for a mess to dip my hands into.
I hung new things in the hallway. Finally moved my bits of clothing from the bureau to the dresser, so as to give Jeff more room. (How odd is it that he needs more room for clothing than I do?) Started working on excavating the kitchen table. Day two of working on the kitchen.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll tackle the horrid mess that is the reading room. I'm still pondering painting the master bedroom blue. I want to—desperately—but the bedroom needs more work before that can happen.
Then, late this afternoon, I walked outside to check the mail, and discovered that the daffodils and the grape hyacinths are beginning to doff their yellow and purple hats against the wet red clay of the soil.
The grape hyacinths were roadside…er…rescues. That is, if you can call last year's roadside liberation of hyacinths rescues. They would, after all, have eventually been mown down like the roadside weeds they were.
Best yet were my tiny discoveries behind the front border of monkey grass. Small clumps of greenery were just barely beginning to poke their pointed heads out of the ground. Unsure at first, I looked more closely, and then scanned further down the row to verify that my eyes were not deceiving me: the tulips survived.
When we dug up the garden last year, we decided to try to save the tulips that the house's previous owners had planted in a few spaces. We only expected to get a few plants, and were all shocked when we dug up each clump and found many, many bulblets in each clump. I ended up gingerly separating each clump and replanting them, fearing that few, if any, would survive the shock of transplanting. When all of the stems died down almost immediately thereafter, I felt my fears were justified.
It appears that I underestimated the tulips. Hopefully, the extra growing room afforded by the division and the soil we improved last year will have given the plants the strength they needed to not just survive, but flourish.
Me, I'm hoping for plenty of tulips. I love to cut flowers and bring them inside to scent up the house, but I just can't bring myself to cut the first daffodils. I emailed someone today—I think it was Brad—and said that in this time that seems so filled with sickness and other things I'm sick of mentioning, there's something inherently comforting in walking outside and seeing the blooms of the daffodils nodding from a soft rain.
I just can't cut them. Not yet.
I'm burying more bulbs—for next spring, not this spring—and hopefully soon I can sink in some lilies. There's more to it than just that, but you have to start somewhere, I think.
For now, I'll settle for letting my nesting instincts rage through interior spring cleaning. Safer that way, I think, as long as I don't attempt to vacuum the cats.