“Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s party!” – Robin Williams
My yard will never look more beautiful than it does right now at this moment. Although my grass hasn’t greened up and the leaves are yet on the mighty oaks that dot my property, my Azaleas are exploding in magnificent colors. Large white, pink, purple and red flowers cover every corner of the landscape. Colors merging and overlapping with each other just as I planned they would when I planted those humble one gallon containers from Home Depot almost twenty years ago. For me, it is sensory overload, a party for my eyes. As I stand on my porch each evening surveying the fireworks of tints and hues, I try to capture a memory, a snapshot that I can carry with me until this time, this moment next year.
Eleven months out of the year Azaleas are simply a fickle, brittle, moisture sucking bush. They break, branches die and sometimes whole sides of the plant perish leaving them misshaped and unsymmetrical though Azaleas are never really symmetrical in the true sense. Their beauty lies dormant, hidden for reasons only they know and are reluctant to share. But for three weeks, three glorious weeks their beauty shines and there is no grandeur that can match the brilliance of an Azalea blooming in April. It’s as if they spend eleven months resting for this short burst of splendor. Eleven months hiding their true nature, their calling.
And then just as quickly as the colors appear, the blooms wither and die littering the ground with sad reminders of what they once were. I like to believe these fallen blooms nourish the soil, giving the shrubs the motivation and energy for one more explosion of color that I must wait eleven months for as I gladly do each year.