March 2012

Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses

This weekend, J and I visited the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses at Wellesley College, which I’d blogged years ago. Although this winter has been mild and almost entirely snow-free, I’m tired of looking at the bare, brown ground. February and March are months when I’m typically starved for color, so I thought visiting a well-tended greenhouse would serve as a virtual trip to the tropics.

Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses

When I first suggested J and I visit the Wellesley greenhouses, I pictured myself taking endless macro shots of flowers as I do every year when the first blossoms appear. Instead, however, what drew my eye time and again this weekend was the sight of greenery.

Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses

I’m tired, as I said, of looking at the bare, brown ground, and I long for a season when the grass is lush and green rather than dry and yellow. As J and I wandered from one warm and humid room to another, it was the sight of green leaves that repeatedly attracted my eye. Colorful flowers are wonderful, but it’s chlorophyll I crave.

Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses

When you wander a greenhouse with your heart tuned toward green, you’ll discover how richly diverse the wide verdant world is. Green comes in many shades and shapes, and each appeals in its own fashion.

Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses

In due time, the bare New England earth will itself erupt in fresh foliage. But for the time being, I’ve stockpiled a cache of images I’ll hold in my heart: both a reminder and a promise of greener days.

Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses

Trees as tresses

I posted only three times in February–an all-time monthly low for me, I think–so I’ve resolved to blog more frequently in March, even on days like today when I don’t have much to say. When “posting more frequently” is defined as “posting more than three times a month,” it feels like an attainable goal: pretty much any posting is more than mostly not posting.


Usually, I drive to and from New Hampshire to teach face-to-face classes on Thursday, but today was a snow day at Keene State: an unplanned windfall (snowfall?) of found time. Here in Newton, we’ve gotten more rain, slush, and sleet than snow, so I’ve spent the day grading online papers, feeling a sense of accomplishment with every finished one. Pretty much any grading on a Thursday is more than mostly not grading on Thursdays, so I’ve appreciated the chance to catch up.


For most of February, I kept my heart set on March, telling myself if I could weather the onslaught of a busier-than-normal online term, things would get better by month’s end. The two undergraduate classes that have caused so much confusion among my students (and so much extra work for me) end on Sunday, followed on Monday by two undergrad classes that promise to be more user-friendly and familiar. Next week, my online graduate class is on break; the week after that, Keene State is on break. Most winters, we claw, crawl, and scramble toward spring, counting each frigid and snow-choked day as being that much closer to warmth. This year, it hasn’t been the weather that’s been trying, but other concerns, and those too (I trust) will pass in time.

Signs and wonders

I’ve remembered this semester that there’s not much I can’t weather if I take each day as it comes, checking off today’s to-dos and letting the rest slide. You can, I’ve learned, survive even the bleakest winter with no more complicated a philosophy than “Every day is a day closer to spring,” and you can survive even the toughest semester with an attitude of “Every paper graded is a paper closer to done.” And just like that, I’ve finished today’s blog-post: one more step in marching on.

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