Friday, April 30, 2010

It's Just Not Spring Until the Begonias

Several years ago we bought a custom screen room that attaches to our house off the back deck. Every year since, there's this "Christmas in spring" feeling that infects the whole family on the day the room comes out. Our whole life changes, opens up, the sights and sounds of spring surround us, and we all breathe deeply for the first time in months.

Everything has to go in its place--the bird feeders, the privacy screen, the nested iron tables, the ottoman. The cats have their own pillow, too, and they complain vocally every morning until I let them out into their spot of sunshine.

The giant tea bags get moved to the front of the shelf. We like it unsweetened, perfumed with bergamot and the taste of la dolce vita. Cardinals appear to entertain us. Squirrels frolic. We have chipmunks, neighborhood cats, and an annoying blue jay. The sedum rampages out of its stone edge, the hostas grow like teenage boys, and a fairy ring of moss large enough to dance in appears overnight.

But nothing makes as big a statement to me as the begonias. Not just any begonias. We have to have two kinds: tuberous and New Guinea. They each have their own charms, but the tuberous are a direct connection to my mother, who distributed them each year for our spring church service. We just called it Begonia Day. It's like pulling a switch. And my mother is close by, living, breathing, laughing, making the spring sing. My mother's begonias. My magic mother. Ahh, my spring comes again. Magic.


MyTreasures / said...

Can I come and sit with the cats! Sounds wonderful. Spring is wonderful after a very long winter here in South Dakota. We are still getting snow (maybe some tonight) I planted Begonias last year and they did great. I guess I found the right spot for them.


Jan said...

I absolutely love the non stop begonias. I'll get mine late in May as the weather here is iffy until then!

dye diana dye said...

What a magical post!

wlbutton said...

Now I understand why your favorite flower is the begonia. They remind you of your FAVORITE mother. No one other than you and I will understand this post.

Anonymous said...

Alyson, such a beautiful post!