Voices on the Wind Voices in the Garden
A New World, A New Calendar by Larry Turner I have lived more than seventy years in a land of four seasons: A time when all nature rests. A time of promise and new beginnings. A time of growth. A time of fulfillment and harvest. Now climate change has dropped me into a world entirely foreign. Snow covering soil and branches well into February, protecting flower bulbs and fruit trees. No late frost, permitting hydrangea to bloom. Strawberries come and gone by April. Harvesting cherries and grapes on Memorial Day, not the Fourth of July, as in years past. Apricots! Perhaps a thousand. Seven years ago, we planted two trees but never saw an apricot until this year. Meanwhile, drought. In the past, the grass sometimes turned brown, but never died altogether. Drought killed the apple tree. Its branches in early June grasped only a few withered leaves and twenty apples stopped in midgrowth. But above the withered grass the peach tree yields more fruit than in all previous years combined. Now in August a new season, one never before on my calendar. Rain returns as though the year itself has discovered and bathed in the Fountain of Youth. Flower boxes overflow with petunias spontaneously reappearing from years past. Sunflowers, so plentiful and tall in past summers but this year victims of drought and critters, now burst into bloom. The vines erupt in new grapes.