First Frosts and Yellow Magic

It is frosty this morning.

I live in the city in a sort of protected spot, something we joke about as being “down the rabbit hole” as in Alice in Wonderland, so the first frost here is the second or third frost just up the hill. As A Person of Seasonal Allergies, I welcome it. This year my neighbor’s friend helped me prepare for it. I was sacked out on the couch, blowing my nose, a couple of days ago, when I heard the hose right under the living room window being unscrewed. By the time I got up to investigate, Charlie was on the porch with the warning that it was going to get cold and hoped I didn’t mind that he had unscrewed the hose to “prevent some major troubles,” sweet man that he is. What Charlie, unknowingly, did though, was get me into the garden to cut the last of whatever was blooming.

Two re-blooming Iris were still having at it, so I cut them, plopped them in a vase and set them near the couch. I had no idea they would release a lovely, soft, sweet, not at all crunchy-leaves-in-the-Fall kind of scent with enough power to get through my stuffiness. The yellow roses were all still making flowers as well, the climber, the tea rose (miracle!) and the Knockouts, so I clipped some and have found they, too, are more fragrant than I would have expected.

I am finding the roses’ yellow just as refreshing as their scent, now that the leaves have fallen from all the trees around the house. Our little Ginko dropped its leaves sooner than the more mature Ginkos around town, so its formerly yellow halo is now softened into what looks like a ring of crunchy potato chips. I haven’t checked on my favorite Ginko in the last few days, but did catch the beautiful halo it made around itself and its companion Magnolia at the Civic Garden Center just a short time ago.

When I went to check on it, I loved finding Sam, of the Civic Garden Center, propped up by its trunk, writing, surrounded by yellow and calm. Earlier in the day the staff had had a wonderful toss-the-leaves-all-over-each-other moment under this Ginko, but now Sam was writing. I sat for a moment in the yellow with Sam as he pointed out the hawk at the top of a distant tree. I thought about the beauty of it all, if we just take a moment to let it in.

Cindy Briggs

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