Thursday, April 16, 2020
Small tired flowers in snow
It was cold out.
And though I love the wonders of walking along the Mississippi River, the legions of possibly infected people jogging and panting and taking their dogs out for a walk every 15 minutes has driven me more and more to the quiet fringes of the city; the garbage strewn fields of dead grass, the illegal to walk on train tracks full of graffiti, the strange radio tower stations with their maze of guylines, and the streets along the looming wooden walls that border the freeways.
I like everything.
Sometimes people read Clerkmanifesto and mistakenly think I am very critical because I am very critical. So they give up before they understand that I like everything.
Here are some baby flowers in the snow. Let me tell you how I like them:
There they are, in the ground, the frozen ground of Minnesota. Let's say sleeping, the earth pulled over them like an exquisite blanket. And they are good sleepers.
Oh how we wish we could sleep half as well!
But slowly the first warmth of Spring oozes down to them and nudges them.
"What's that?" The little Snow Glories wonder.
They waste not a single second. They throw off the blanket. They burst into greenery. They flower faster than you can make a grilled cheese sandwich. Winter to Summer in 4.5 seconds! You were looking at that spot of ground just this morning. You swear there was nothing!
Now it is smeared with flowers!
And we walk by. It is 64 degrees out. Their purple-blue flowers blush whole hillsides. It's dazzling. It's like being released from some cage we had no idea we had been in. We strip to our t-shirts. We sweat.
And then eight inches of snow falls. The flowers are buried. It's less than 30 degrees out. Everything is white and brown again.
Oh, right. We say. Right, accepting it with mixed grace: Minnesota.
And what do the little flowers say, at least when the snow melts back enough for them to rear their damp and weary heads again?
They say, whatever.
And they give a tired smile.
And they like everything.