The Last Tulip

tulip  The last tulip dropped today.

My day lilies aren’t out yet. The maple leaves are small and timid. Nights are cool, rain is soft. But the tulips are all done now.

It gets to me. I feel like spring is all over, and we’re into the brassy brightness of summer, driving me into the sterile air-conditioned indoors. No, I want to say. I’m not ready. It’s the sweetness in the air I really love. The first time I lift my face to the sky and breathe deeply, feeling my soul uncurl after winter’s brutal grip finally eases. Summer is boisterous, athletic playtime; spring is first love. Can’t we hold onto that a little longer?

Oh, well. Trying to hang onto spring is like trying to keep your children from outgrowing cuddles and naps. And I enjoy my children as the adults they have become with an intensity that has never faded. But still, when I look back on their toddler photos, I sigh. As much as I have gained, I have also lost something worth acknowledging.

So, farewell, spring. See you next year.