It’s October, we find time to go by the spring-house to get the tulips. It is time to prepare for winter and the inevitable coming of spring. The bulbs look hopelessly dead and ugly, rather pitiful in fact. John nurtures them tenderly.
tucks the bulbs in bed
till spring's alarm
Through many snows and chilling temperatures, we do not consider at all what is taking place under the ground. One warm March day we see tiny noses poking up through the soil around the back porch. By April, we are sitting in the swing admiring the result of John’s loving labor of last fall.
seeing the blooms
How could such ugliness have turned to such beauty in the cold, hard earth? As May approaches bringing other flowers, our short-lived tulips drop their blossoms and say good-bye. But as John knows, the wisest of gardeners do not hasten to bother the beauty in its passing.
dust to dust
all blossoms shrivel
food for the soil
wilting leaves nourish the bulb
hidden in the ground
The bulb remains unattractive throughout the whole cycle of growth. Along in mid-July when all external signs of life have faded, John removes the unsightly bulbs from their bed, putting them back in the spring-house until fall. Without them, there will be no blossoms next spring. It is the care we show the bulb which bursts into the beauty we bless in time.