We might as well welcome change of seasons because they will happen whatever.
December and January are respites from the garden. I know that my battle with the cocky Chickweed will re-engage before I’m ready. And as I tug and shake the roots, there are tendrils left in the soil waiting for me to become occupied with other fair weather pursuits. They will then creep to the surface and spread a base of support, flat round happy green leaves from which will spring a single, hair-thin stem for the inevitable, cheerful flower. I know this because Chickweed and I are in our second go-round this year. And once that flower appears, the exploding seeds liberated into next year are not far behind.
That happy, keep growing attitude may be one of the reasons I detest this weed. In another place they might be welcome, like the dandelion I appreciate waving at me from fields along the highway. I would even enjoy watching the seeds burst from the flower. But not in my garden where bare soil, warm and brown, frames my iris, daffodils, hyacinths as they flower, and other perennials as they build their leafy base for emergence in the warmth of May and June.
A Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood wrote: "Gardening is not a rational act. What matters is the immersion of the hands in the earth, that ancient ceremony of which the Pope kissing the tarmac is merely a pallid vestigial remnant. In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
Seasons are transitional. Our accomplishments are temporary so that we will be encouraged to leave off hibernation, change, grow and stretch toward whatever service needs us. In a sense change is death, and how horrible to never experience dying like the seed, rebirth in a new challenge, stem and flower in a field or a vase. And here is the cheerful chickweed to remind us that neither change nor sameness will be perfect.