The Winter Garden

Dahlia Garden
Our Dahlia Garden. The different blubs sorted into paper bags for next spring.

Last night I dreamed of the ocean.  I was on a beach with other people and my friend Mandy, who is a healer,  was there.  She gave me a vaccination because I was going somewhere  and I might need it for protection.    The ocean was a steely gray.  The waves were getting bigger and we had to move up the beach.  I looked at the gray waves and thought they were so beautiful, somehow even more beautiful  then the blue-green oceans in tropical climates.  Just before that dream morphed into another,  I realized that Jon and I lived closer to the ocean than I thought.  I couldn’t wait to tell him so we could go there together.

It was 20 degrees out when I woke up this morning.  The grass was covered in frost, all the flowers wilted, most of them turned brown overnight. We knew it was going to get below freezing so we cut as many Dahlia’s as we could and put them in vases.   I  brought some of the potted flowers in the house.  I know the potted zinnia’s and marigolds will have to die at some point soon, but I just wasn’t ready for it to be last night.

This afternoon, between sun and  unseasonal snow flurries I dug up the Dahlia bulbs.  I drew little pictures of the dahlia’s, wrote their colors and heights  on paper bags and separated the bulbs into them.   Then I brought them into the basement.  We have an old root cellar with plaster walls and gray pantry shelves.  There’s even bars on the basement windows, that used to be the only source of light.  It no longer holds the precious winter food supply, just our old business records, dog food in metal garbage cans to discourage the mice, and our dahlias bulbs.

This evening we lit up both wood stoves for the first time this fall.  I don’t know if I’ll bring in the potted plants again tonight.  I think my dream was about acceptance and seeing the beauty in the coming of winter.  Yesterday I told Jon that the trees were so  gorgeous it made me nervous, because I knew they were at their height.  Like spring flowers, all that beauty doesn’t last long.

I was confused and surprised when I woke up this morning and remembered how I felt about those gray waves in my dream.  It’s those Mediterranean oceans I usually crave.  So I’m thinking my dream was about me feeling hope for this winter.  Like, if I let it, it will take me someplace new.  Maybe I’ll be able to see the beauty in the gray sunless skies, like I did in the waves.  It’s not that I don’t like the winter, I actually love the change of seasons we have in the northeast.  But in the past few years the thought of winter gets me down.  I would be disappointed if it didn’t come at all, but I wish it didn’t last as long.

So now I’ll try to remember those cold gray waves, how I felt about them and  how I wanted to be on that beach with Jon.  Usually at some point during the winter I dream of a tropical vacation.  Maybe this year I think about appreciating what I already have, so close to home.


2 thoughts on “The Winter Garden

  1. Hi Maria, l’m struggling with some of the same sentiments you mentioned in your blog today – here in the northwest of Canada it’s still mostly raining and my dahlias are still out in the garden, but the colourful leaves have been disappearing over the past 2 weeks and it is starting to look much more like November, not my favourite month of the year! “Winter garden” sounds like an oxymoron – however, when l read the headline of your blog l thought of our living room turning into a winter garden as this is where most of the outdoor plants will end up…not something our three dogs care for as it limits their free floor space. With so much rain, our farm is turning into ‘Muddy paws Farm’ again for a couple of months before we change into ‘Yellow Snow Farm’, ahem 🙂 Here’s to hoping that this won’t happen for a little while longer!

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