Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix AZ Photo credit: Doree Weller

Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix AZ
Photo credit: Doree Weller

While the rest of the world welcomes spring (and in parts of the US, they still have some snow), here in Arizona, we’re already baking.  Temperatures have hit 100 and the flowers are already dying.  Spring, if you can call it that, happens so fast here that I barely have time to notice it.

In Pennsylvania, we had a spring whose length of time varied.  Sometimes it lasted a long time, and the crocuses were often up by Easter.  Sometimes the spring was shorter, but always there.  I never realized how much I’d miss having 4 distinct seasons until I moved somewhere that didn’t have them.  That’s the way of it, though.  When you’re living through something, it’s easy to take for granted, because it’s always been that way.

When I first moved here, the brown seemed soothing, and the sameness seemed clean and relaxing.  It still seems that way, but I miss the quirky personality of the jumble created by all the differences back East.  Some houses are new, some are old, but they don’t match one another.  There are greens and browns and purples and blues and reds.  It’s like an abstract painting rather than a landscape sometimes.

I throw open my windows and enjoy the fleeting spring for as long as I can out here.  For in the rest of the world, it may still be spring, but in Arizona, we’ve moved on to summer.

Forgetting and Remembering

When I moved into my house in Arizona almost 7 years ago, my backyard was a big dirt lot.  I chose to see it as possibility untapped, but then I did nothing with it for the next 5 years.  Oh sure, I had a lime, a lemon, and an orange tree, and I had pots of flowers here and there that I watered half-heartedly, but mostly, I left it alone.

In 2012, I decided once and for all, my yard was going to be done.  I planned it out, hired people, and voila!  my yard was transformed from this:

My big dirt pit

My big dirt pit

To this:

Yay!  Pretty!

Yay! Pretty!

I love my yard, and I’d like to say I take care of it, but I don’t want to lie.  From about March until September, I’m out in my yard, weeding, picking veggies, playing with the dogs, writing.  But for some reason, when October hits, I start neglecting it, and I don’t know why.  I can’t blame the weather because it’s usually pretty nice during the day, even then.

So why?  Is my brain just programmed that garden activities stop in the winter time?  I don’t know.  I even planted some beans and spinach for the winter season, then promptly neglected it.

I went out in the yard the other day, as if I’d just awakened from a long sleep, and wanted very much to get back out in it, to yank the weeds that grew up over the winter and clean up all the debris left my wind and carelessness.  I was sick that day, and trying to concentrate on resting, so I didn’t do it, but it’s as if something hits me in February, and I’m reawakened to the possibilities.

I’d forgotten, and now I’m remembering again.