Saturday, January 29, 2005

Theology of the Crocus

Crocuses have disappeared from our supermarkets. For years, come January 15, one could find small tubs of white or yellow or purple bulbs waiting to burst into bloom. A taste of spring at $1.49. I got them every week in winter. Tossed them in the garden later, where they continue to make a timely appearance once snow melts.

Not any more. The gentle crocus has suffered a marketing demise. The profit margin was too little, or the garden manager couldn't shift them as fast as they faded. A crocus has a short shelf life. But I'm feeling rather jaded about it all. This small pleasure, this tiny self indulgence has been stripped away from me. I had no say at all. Store people give me blank stares as if these little pots of hope never existed. Am I the only one who remembers them?

If a butterfly flapping its wings in Mexico can cause climate change in Alaska, then let me tell you, the lack of early crocuses in Muskoka might cause a rebellious migration. Somewhere on earth millions of these gems bloom for the express purpose of providing their tender parts for saffron. Perhaps I might go there, become a saffron picker.

I had another car accident. Silly. Small. In the parking lot of the Independent Grocer. I was so tired from sleepless nights feeding our little five pound baby. So relieved he is starting to fill out around the edges. Wanting a pot of crocus to celebrate. Distracted by the driver who signalled his impatience to have my spot. Boom. Right into a car parked in the new mother's space. When I found the owner, she turned out to be white haired and neither pregnant or a new mother. Perhaps that is why she has never phoned to say what the damage would be.

But I miss those crocuses. They were hope to me. Hope that winter would come to an end. And faith. Their tiny insignificance reminded me of faith. Mustard seeds, especially encased in glass and hung around the neck have never done anything for me. But crocuses. They are love too, since my husband often broke out the $1.49, and when we were really poor, it meant a lot. It was an unnecessary extravagance, like that box of ointment.

You will remember,if you read my last post, that a crocus bloomed at my father's feet the day he died. Hope, faith, love.

If all of this is silly and impossibly trivial, so be it. Determined not to miss this simple joy next year, I shall simply have to pot my own.



daisymarie said...

Doesn't seem silly to me at all. And I remember them. I worked at a Frank's Nursery (my very first job) and that's when I fell in love with bulbs and flowers. The first crocuses are such a joy-full thing. Sad that others (younger) have recollections. Makes you wonder what joys they will recall from these days. Hmmmmm.

bobbie said...

oh friend that is so not silly. i hear crocuses prevent accidents too! sorry to hear you're not getting sleep! i remember crocuses, you're not the only one. i personally love primroses - that yellow on my countertop makes it for me - gives me what i need to make it through these next 6 weeks (well down here - maybe 5 months for you guys up north??)

Deb said...

I'm sorry the crocuses have disappeared. I just emailed you something.

steph said...

Funny, as I read this Connie, I thought about the tiny crocus that heralds spring. Heralds - often misunderstood, marginalized, overlooked. Somehow this post says to me to stop, to listen, to anticipate the voice that is crying in the wilderness, that brings good news.
And the crocus out here has made an appearance - hope of new beginnings, of a change of season, of moving forward.