A DAY IN MID-FEBRUARY, 2014
WP PROMPT 1/29/2014:
The WordPress daily prompt for January 29, 2014, was write here, write now: write a post entirely in the present tense. I wrote the following on a mid-February day.
As I read the morning newspaper I spot an article on gardening…a glance out the window reveals the irony of its timing. Gently falling snowflakes join several inches already on the driveway and car, accumulated since last evening. The storm is consistent with Punxstawney Phil’s prediction of 6 more weeks of winter.
While watching the 22nd Olympics pairs ice skating in Sochi, Russia, I sort through a box of papers. This one is appropriate for mid-February:
- A proverb says that “Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots”. “. Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. Another proverb says “Valentin – prvi spomladin” (“Valentine — the first spring saint”), as in some places (especially White Carniola), Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring.
I pause and ponder these words during an ice skating dance, then I pick out several more items in the box of papers. Among them are several articles on gardening—flowers: sunflowers, peonies, petunias, daisies… Glancing out the window I see that the snow has stopped. The sun shines brightly. Diamond dust twinkles on the white coverlet protecting the earth underneath from the below zero air temperatures chilled further by a brisk, frigid arctic breeze above.
The ice skating ends. Putting the remaining papers back in the box I start my routine chores. First, I water the plants. There are five terra cotta round pots and one terra cotta colored oblong plastic pot filled with summer plantings . I check the short stems in a prescription container. Yep, they are sprouting roots. I dig holes in the dirt in a sixth of nine pots I need for my flower wheel in the yard. I expect they will become somewhat lush when the weather enables me to put them outside.
My eye catches a foot-wide flowerpot, sitting on the floor, filled with dirt. Now I realize the effect the gardening articles have on me. I remove a good bit of the dirt and replace some of it with fresh potting soil. Reaching for a package of Swiss chard seed I open it, sprinkle the eighth inch rough-coated seed on the dirt, cover it with additional dirt, and add water—lots of water for lots of dry dirt. I cover the pot with a large piece of plastic to protect it from the two felines who live in the house.
I glance out the window again. The sun is gone. The Christmas flag (still up) is flapping about. Snow is falling, yet again.
Leaving the porch I acknowledge the planting elicits feelings of expectant new life. They represent hope, which springs eternal in the renewing of life each spring.
The computer beckons me. I review my CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS articles and spot one from a year ago, last late-Frbruary. Surprise. A picture of snowdrops booming under our apple tree. I recall the weather being much more temperate, the snow so much less. Will the snowdrops be blooming in February this year? (update: NO)
I pull up the draft of this article for CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, a response to the WordPress 1/29/2014 writing prompt: Write a post entirely in the present tense, which I proceed to complete. The tips of my fingers press gently on the keyboard letters.
Done, I begin to work on a chapter in my novel. I’m researching the culture of Acadia, Maine, in the 1790s, sorting out the difference between Acadia, the various Acadian boundaries, and the Acadian people. I’m up to the challenge, refreshed with hope for the future. I anticipate turning the pages of its first draft at the same time I pick the first leaves of my Swiss chard. Perhaps this is wishful thinking…I renew the hope that I at least have sufficient lifetime to complete the final draft of this novel.
After a couple of hours work on understanding Acadia I return to this article. Completing it, I make certain it is written in the present tense, as the WordPress prompt requires.
It is now completed. I must leave the computer and make dinner. The evening is mine to eat, clean, and fold laundry while I enjoy a movie on television.