By all accounts, they should be up by now. However, I've never had much luck with bulbs, despite the incredibly easy instructions on the package and the relatively little care they appear to need. Place deep in the ground, allow to freeze, wait, be amazed. Isn't that the way they're supposed to work?
I've seen some bulbs attempting to push their way through the industrial soil by the train tracks as I walk to work, and making their way out of the neighbors' mulch, but mine are reluctant. I wonder if they became food to the bunnies and squirrels that tease my cats during the fall.
Fall displays of bulbs get me every time, despite my lack of success in the past. As the weather grows colder and the days get shorter, I need the hope that they give me - the hope that spring will come again, that things will get better, that the sun will return.
Last year's hyacinths took me by surprise.
It's the same hope that I need to keep going when the things we call "negative emotions" start rearing their heads. Last night I was assaulted by a wave of jealousy, loss, and regret.
My throat is tight, my shoulders are up around my ears. With every breath I have to tell myself to relax.
My reactions are mine, and all I can do is stand back, look at my reactions, and determine the best course to follow. Which is why I put quotation marks around negative emotions - because all emotions exist, and we all have them. It's what we do with them that's important. I felt myself composing statements that I would regret uttering, so I left the situation.
We have talked a bit in Yoga Teacher Training about suffering as a choice - that pain will come and go, but we can choose whether we suffer from it. This struck me as a powerful idea - that I can choose not to suffer. But when pain comes, making that choice becomes difficult. How do I detach my emotions from the events, remove my need to interpret, react, make sense, and instead simply observe what I feel and let it pass?
I'm not there yet, and so I need my crocuses to come up. To remind me that there is hope. There is spring, and that new things come to take the place of old things.
These would be the peonies of last year.
In another month the peonies will begin to poke their strange voodoo heads through the ground, and spring will begin in earnest.