Tulips are tough! Years ago I planted 1200 tulips beside our trout stream and when they bloomed the following spring they held spectacularly perfect blooms for less than ten days when a flood washed them away. It was a lot of work and cost gone in less than an hour. Even the Darwin variety identified as perennial are pretty short lived so I never planted tulips again. Until last fall that is, when I discovered the grower of the multitudes that decorate New York City’s Central Park. Last fall 50 inexpensive bulbs were tucked into a bed at our new home. Last week they unfurled their showy blossoms in a profusion of color. Each night for the past several, nighttime temps dropped below freezing. They folded their petals close for protection and by early morning the tulips glistened with frost until sunrise and warmth revealed a hardier side. They are so beautiful as individuals and clustered together. They are the first things to admire when I tiptoe out in the half light of morning.
It’s a long time ‘til next spring; what a shame it would be to forget. Today I’m unveiling the painting I made over the past week to help me remember and to share their beauty with you. I call it So Spring because tulips mark for me the line between winter’s dreary cold and spring’s promise of new life, bright color and warmth. Here’s to all the ways we humans mark the passage of time! Full of personal meanings these customs are as different as each of us is. The common threads that unite us are many and they're worth celebrating!
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