There and Back:
According to the plant nurseries, this weekend was the last expected chance of frost for Kansas. The flowers, in small pots and 6-packs, smiled beside the roadways. Grocery stores, hardware stores, and random gravel lots all sported spring's glad colors. Spicy marigolds, pale petunias, leggy vinca, and the promise of many backyard gardens' bounty: peppers, tomatoes, summer squash.
Also along the roadside, winter's damage to the trees: broken crowns, downed limbs, and log piles. Evidence of saws and sledges and splitting wedges, even as some plant in anticipation, others remember and prepare for the wind, cold, and ice that seemed ever present for many long months.
Raking back the leaves reveals lemon balm along the slope and new plants in profusion. Where little else deigns to grow, the lemon balm spreads fragrant leaves. Even though I live well within the city limits, a small grove of trees graces my life. The birds are chipper this morning; a mockingbird sang his serenade this morning through my bathroom window. I am grateful for open windows in the morning, for small green leaves, for another day of to be alive.