One day this week I bought and transferred fledgling geraniums and petunias into balcony pots. In the evening I realized I’d probably gone overboard with things, twice as many geraniums this year as last, besides a pretty over-wintered shrub, two trays of petunias, a tub of creamy yellow pansies, not to mention H’s roses and his soon-to-be potted tomatoes and likely (come Mother’s Day) a hanging basket or two. I remembered, too late obviously, that though these plants would grow into a glorious display, they would need to be watered and tended and tidied for months and months. I remembered their daily water would have to be carried from the kitchen sink and through the living room because there’s no tap out there. (Our balcony faces south and west; the sun absolutely devours the moisture.)
I blame spring. In our part of the world blossoms are blossoming, magnolia trees are heavy with flowers, it’s warm. And spring is impulsive, indiscriminate, extravagant. Spring is powerful and I responded as if over-powered. Even though I knew (if I’d stopped to think) that just beyond spring, summer would have to take care of all that bursting-forth and happiness, would have to bring it to maturity. Would have to be responsible. Manage it into the future and its final stages in fall.
I couldn’t help thinking about the commitments one takes on in the flush of youth or in ongoing or periodic bursts of ambition and energy. Partners, children, friendships, careers/vocations, projects, service. We start and there it is: we’re responsible. But no matter how old, we keep starting, because it’s spring and the call of the new and the potential for glorious is irresistible.