April Showers

patch of garden surrounded by concrete with spring flowers and emerging perennials
The scrappy, shady, tree root congested, parkway in front of our building.

I don’t think I have ever been so relieved for a month to end. Which is sort of silly because there’s nothing stopping tomorrow from being like today besides the extra minute or so of daylight.

We closed with a flourish. Heavy rain. Lighting flickering. We used to have a front seat row for big storms, but now crane our necks for slivers of sky around the outlines of the new houses next door.

grassy parkway with small patches of yellow and pink tulips
These tulips are vestiges of the sunny parkway gardening I did before the houses were built (we are the yellow building).

A cryptic weather alert tried to fill in the gaps. When the emergency broadcast whistle? static? interrupted the last few minutes of Weekend Edition, my interest was piqued.  The  recording was both long winded and tentative. At first it sounded very serious, going on about tornados that have already touched down followed by talk of a tornado watch that included Cook County.

After being told to  brace for hail, debris, and downed trees, I listened carefully to the long list of specific spots considered high risk.  I expected to be instructed to head to the basement (this happens occasionally), but then the whirring static signaled the end of the message. What were we supposed to do with this information? Though we are not far from the listed spots, we are not close either. So I shrugged and  returned to my window perch. If we were danger, I was confident the local alarms would be  blaring.

close up of outside  low mounding plant , green blue leaves holding rain drops
Lady’s Mantle, catching some rain

This is probably not an accurate description of the call, but I’ve got  the gist and it is all too familiar to what we’ve been weathering all year. Big storm. Vague warnings. No directions. Me sitting on the radiator looking out the window with furrowed brow, knees hugged to chest.

And that sounds passive but the thing is that I was outside right until the storm hit. Watching. Yanking out old tulips that have been  all leaf no bloom the last few years. Moving a few plants. Doing what I can in small moments.

Taking deep breaths, maybe  trying to vacuum up this month to exhale hope for better days ahead. For the first time, the dampness smelled ever so slightly of spring.

garden close up, puriple bloom, purple and green leaves
I can never get enough purple.

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