Uncovering hidden growth

I spent most of yesterday cleaning away leaf litter and the remnants of last year’s garden. What started out as a chilly morning quickly moved to no-coat status courtesy of a bright, warming sun. I sawed — yes, sawed — down the dried plumes of Miscanthus and removed spent Sedum, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia stems that provided texture and height all winter.

There is an underlying catharsis involved in removing the old, isn’t there? I save a lot of this cleanup until spring so that I can remember the garden during our brown, grey Midwest winters. Like our human memories, though, there’s a time to let go. A time to make room for the present, the new. Our growth.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to uncover so much growth below the crinkly blanket. It was an insulating cover, capturing the sun’s heat as winter relinquished its grip to spring. You could have heard my smile when I pulled away leaves to reveal the tiny sprouts of Artemesia. These feathery blue perennials are K’s favorite; I knew she’d be delighted by their return from hibernation.

It’s not pleasant this morning by any measure (rainy and in the 40s), but the urge to capture this moment of revelation was greater than the annoyance of cold rain and the lingering soreness of a day leaning, lifting, bending, and pulling.

It’s a new season, my favorite time of the year. I love how it feels. The clearing away of the old to leave last year’s garden respectfully in the past. The sudden delight of discovering new growth I didn’t even know existed. The imagination and potential for the future that leaps inside me.

Happy Spring, my friends.

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