Oh, the arrogance. Oh, the hubris! “Now it is March,” I wrote last week, “and spring appears to have launched itself in earnest.” Six days later a snowstorm swept through Middle Tennessee, coating every delicate flower in luxuriant death and interrupting the courtship plans of cardinals that for days had been singing out loud news of their boundless desire. The ground was very warm, and the snow melted quickly once the sun came out, but for a few hours the world was hushed, and every mortal thing was still. Even the neighborhood children, normally so quick on their sleds that leave behind the tracks of great snails on our hillsides, stayed inside their warm houses.
The snow didn’t last, but it ushered in another cold spell expected to linger more than a week. It will bring a hard freeze on most nights, and any flowers that survived the snow will not survive the cold. The honeybees, so happy in the forsythia only a day before, will wake again into a springtime barren of open flowers. When the days begin to warm once more, I’ll set a pan of sugar water in my blasted flowerbed and hope they find it there. In only another week or two the first hummingbirds arrive, and they’ll need our help too.