As seasons ebb and flow, slowly giving way one to another, we all have markers by which we measure, miletones unique to ourselves or our families or our communities, things we use to fix us in our current spot in time and space. This year's predictors and markers, however, have been a bit wobbly and uncertain. This Easter lily, for instance, has proven itself wholly unreliable.
You know those photos I've shown you of blooming things? Azaleas? Ornamental cherries? Meyer lemon blossoms, wisteria...that wonderful Seven Sisters rose whose tiny flowers brighten the spring for us? Most of them have bloomed more or less on schedule, some a little late, some in greater or less abundance than usual. The figs, as noted, appeared a week or so later than usual, but give signs of producing crops the richness of which we haven't seen before. And this is all to be expected, for we had a long, cold winter in north Florida, and some might say an even longer, cooler spring than usual. But as they sometimes say about babies who are small at birth, they usually catch up. And so it is with the trees and bulbs and other annually returning flora at our house, except for this Easter lily. Easter has come and gone, my dears.
An argument might be made that a better symbol of returning life and resurrection and timeless, beautiful cycles is the resurrection fern. Holding fast to the bark of the water oaks and live oaks, sheltered by the Spanish moss and the dappled light, it lives through all conditions, coming into glorious color when the rains come, receding into careful, dry, brown preservation mode when the weather is too hot or too dry, or both. It is always there, visible or not, rarely glamorous but steady and reliable as the coming and going of the seasons themselves.