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.
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.