No rows of marigolds. No Christmas trees. No potted mums or mandevilla vines. No starter tomato plants and rows of herbs. Just a quiet space filled with pristine snow greets the masses of pilgrims who make their way to the hallowed aisles of Russo’s in late January. As I approach the store, the absence of plants, mulch, and manure cause me to sigh deeply in relief. It’s like an invitation to rest. Nothing needs doing. Nothing is urgent — At least in my yard.
I am brought back to a journey years ago, when I traveled to the shore of Lake Michigan in January – to the camp where I worked every summer. I walked up the path towards the lake through a foot of snow. The pine trees overhead leaned in slightly on the sand dunes, forming a cathedral overhead, just as they do in the summer. But there was silence. The familiar, beautiful sound of the waves crashing on the shore, which is a constant accompaniment to all the activity of the summer, was absent. Then, too, I experienced a full-body, full-soul restfulness hard to put into words.
Some things do need doing. But not everything. Not now. The quiet is like medicine to my over-busy, over-loud soul, and I am thankful for it. The tulips will arrive before we know it, row upon row of them brightening the threshold of Russo’s and calling us to dig and fertilize and water.