Being the naturalist I am, I’ve been concerned about global warming. How the ice is melting in the Arctic, how the polar bears will survive. And living in a region where the gas industry is king, with its spewing of flared wells and toxic chemical spills from their carelessness, the environment is a deep part of my soul. Like that child who needs to be held and loved, the earth and my garden need that special attention.
But these last two days have been difficult for me. It’s the middle of May, and since I moved here 10 years ago, May was always beautiful. Flowers were starting to bloom, my apple trees were coming into blooms, the birds were singing and darting about. The swallows with their acrobats kept me entertained while I gardened.
But this morning, this clear morning, I realize that May can be deadly. As I took the dog out, I went over to the lilacs I covered the day before as the weather report said there would be frost. I won’t be partaking of their sweet scent this year. I won’t have apples either, and the tulips I planted (and also covered) won’t be gracing my kitchen window. Everything is frozen stiff. The lilacs were just starting to bloom.
When I was young, my mother had a vase of plastic lilacs on a table in our hallway. I often wondered about this type of plant as I’d never seen it; lilacs didn’t grow in the area. And when I experienced my very first whiff, while on a trip to the mountains as an adult visiting a friend, I was in awe. I knew I wanted to grow some of these somehow, and realized I would have to live in a different place to do so..
Fate landed me here, as not only do I have one bush, but I have eight bushes, which include white lilacs. And every year I look forward to their arrival. This year wasn’t any different, other than the killing frost which took them. I stood under them and cried. I’m too afraid to check the nesting boxes to see if the swallows made it.
As I checked back in my gardening journal, I didn’t see any time where there was a killing frost in mid-May. Frost, yes, but 21 degrees? No. So where is global warming? Certainly not in my neck of the woods and certainly not today.
I’m apprehensive to write this as the temps will probably soar this summer, just to spite my missive. And then I won’t have my fresh produce either. It’s such a strange world we are living in now, and I want my lilacs back. I need comfort and their sweet scent is the only thing that will do it for me.