Sunny days unleash garden dreams

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Give me a January day of bright sunshine with slightly warmer weather and boom my thoughts go to planting stuff. My brain tells me we are weeks away from planting season, but oh, that sunshine gets me dreaming of tomato plants and sweet smelling petunias.

Yesterday, I walked by the garden spot that is empty except for the brown remnants of plants I didn’t pull up after the first freeze. I stood for a moment imagining what I could grow there.

Maybe I’ll plant lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers; you know a living garden salad. Perhaps, I will do what I did last year and give it all to flowers; the volunteer marigolds back from their fallen seeds and the starter plants I carefully set in place. The possibilities are endless when you imagine a garden.

When I was shopping in that a big store that has everything, (you know the one where we all shop — name starts with a “W” and ends with a “t”) I noticed the displays of spring bulbs are up. The Christmas trees of a few weeks ago are gone, replaced by cushions for the new outdoor furniture that will soon fill the space.

The plant section is still pretty empty, but it won’t be long until sweet, new plants that will surely call my name every time I walk in the door fill the garden center. Never mind the temperatures might be hitting freezing at night. It will be spring in that place.

Last night the weather person urged me to enjoy this last day of spring-like sunshine and mild temperatures. He said winter is coming back and Friday looks like a wet, cold day. Well, it is January so why does this forecast surprise me.

Still, this morning sitting at my bedroom window watching the sun make dancing patterns on the ground, it looked and felt more like late March. Even my cats sleeping peacefully in the sun seemed to be in a springtime mood.

As I sat there watching them sleep, I drifted off into my own dream of spring. Then it the midst of that dream something occurred to me. It was not so long ago, I was dreaming of winter, longing for the cold clear days, and the joy of sipping something warm and sweet as I sat at my window.

We humans are funny creatures aren’t we? We always seem to be one-step ahead of ourselves. As soon as we get our feet firmly in one season, we start looking toward the next one.

Well, to be honest, if I don’t pay close attention I do that with more than the seasons. I’ll be somewhere in the past, remembering the good times or, heaven help me, the bad times. Or, like I did with the whole spring thing, I’ll be miles into the future, imagining the possibility of good things, or again heaven help me, bad things.

You know I don’t think my sleeping cats do that. I’m pretty sure they are just out there enjoying the blessing of some warm sunshine. In their heads, they aren’t wishing for the end of winter or dreaming of the arrival of spring. Nope, they are simply taking it as it comes, living in the moment.

Still, give me an unseasonably warm January day and I get a touch of spring fever. Guess the best thing to do on that kind of day is follow my cats’ lead and enjoy a little nap in that warm sunshine without giving a thought to winter returning later in the week.

Oh, and when it does return, I’ll pour myself something sweet and warm. Then I’ll grab my cozy blanket, settle into my chair by the window and while I enjoy the view of winter from my comfortable perch, I‘ll repeat this mantra — this moment is perfect just as it is.