tough guy

As of December 29th, this is what’s blooming in the garden.

And that’s it.  The rest are done.

These tiny violas seem so mighty to keep on flowering even in this cold weather which has knocked everything else out of the running until spring.  I know it’s a question of adaptation.  But still… just look at his brave little face.

I’m so grateful for his courage in carrying on despite prevailing conditions.  The garden definitely needs this little spot of color in winter.

Actually, truth be told, it’s me who needs it.  My mood isn’t naturally bouyant in this season of short days, heavy coats, and pale light.  I kind of have to work on it.  Planting the violas back in October was one way of working on it in advance.

And the honeymoon and holidays certainly helped.  But there’s kind of a let-down after a major holiday or trip, I think.  Do any of you experience this?  If so, how do you counteract it?  Or do you just go with it?

From past experiences, I won’t be going with it.  I know where that leads — pretty much to the bottom of a well.  But I don’t exactly work against it, either.  Anything I’m vehemently against, I tend to become.

Instead I’ve been adding little things into my environment that I know are proven mood-lifters for me, and I try to get out more, especially on sunny days.  And when I’m feeling melancholy, I don’t try not to be so, but I use the contemplative facet of that mood for artwork or writing or listening to beautiful music.  Or I use the coccoon-like desire that underlies such a mood for pampering myself with a home spa treatment or catching up on snail-mail correspondence with a cup of hot cocoa.

It’s hard to feel really down when you realize you have chocolate and friends.

There can be an anxious undertone to the melancholy, and this, I’ve learned, can be turned toward planning, even if the planning isn’t very realistic or even necessary.  Pomona reminded me yesterday that there is a strong element of fantasy in most garden planning, and I know she’s right.  However, just the idea of planning something sometimes takes the edge off the low-level anxiety that can accompany the winter blues.

Here’s hoping no one reading has the winter blues today.  But if they have been dogging your steps, may this winsome blossom bring a spot of color and life to you today!

And by all means go and get some chocolate, posthaste.

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4 Responses to “tough guy”

  1. I like the idea of the hot chocolate. I have some of that gourmet mix in the pantry from a gift basket – I might just have to try some. Thanks, friend!

  2. The tough guy is beautiful. Smart planning there, Meredith!

    Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (which is just the best acronym around) is sort of a given in our area of the world. It’s been exacerbated this year by the extremely wet and cloudy summer we had. Seeing the sun is becoming a rarity.

    I find that I tend to turn my attention indoors and spent more time cleaning out areas of the house that have been neglected – like closets and things. As I restore order, I feel a sense of accomplishment that makes me feel less guilty for how quickly I abandon the indoors for the outdoors once the warm weather arrives. I tend to do sewing projects and things that allow me to be indoors and not lament the loss of garden time. I always have too many projects on the go, so I can usually find something to perk my interest and divert my attention from the fact that I feel a shade blue.

    Oh, and chocolate is a staple in my house. I can’t go a day without a taste of some bittersweet chocolate. And now I’m thinking I should make a nice cup of hot chocolate – it will be my dessert because what’s hot chocolate without lashings of whipped cream?

    • I hadn’t thought about the wet summer adding to your woes up north. That’s too bad 😦 But your way of dealing with the seasonal extremes sounds sensible, turning inward like Nature, herself, and then going out again.

      You made me salivate with the lashings of whipped cream 🙂 Generally, I just make the cocoa as is. I might need to visit your house, sounds as good as a restaurant!

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