Through the crack

Because we’ve had so little snow this past winter, the exposed soil in our backyard flower beds has deep, fissure-like cracks, and right now those cracks are sprouting the first tentative flowers of spring. I’m not much of a gardener, and neither is J: although J takes pride in tending our lawn and shrubs, neither one of us has ever planted any flowers here.


Instead, every spring and summer we’re surprised by the magical re-appearance of perennials our house’s prior owners planted: crocuses, snowdrops, tulips, daffodils, scilla, and a whole parade of ornamental flowers whose names I don’t know. During the spring and summer, our backyard feels like a botanical time capsule, with someone else’s green thumb giving us unsolicited gifts. I sometimes wonder about the hands that planted the bulbs that continue to sprout every year with no human assistance. Did the planter of these bulbs know how long they’d bloom after their departure, and could they have envisioned how much joy they’d bring to a future homeowner they never even met?