Hope by Angela Rieck


Early spring has it all. The landscape is shaking off its winter doldrums.  Bright green shoots are appearing on seemingly dead shrubbery. The trees cast a light green or red tint, letting us know that large expansive leaves are growing inside of them. The grass has turned a bright green and evergreens are getting their color.  

But what this season offers the most is hope.  This is the going to be the year.

As I fill my bird feeders, I convince myself that this is going to be the year that I get something other than brown birds, black birds or squirrels.  I am not asking for much, just a cardinal or two, or a blue jay or a house finch. I am not even asking for goldfinches or woodpeckers, just some color.  This is going to be the year. I fill my feeders with sunflower seeds, Nyger seeds, mealworms and a sugar solution for my hummingbirds.

This is going to be the year that my gooseneck Loosestrife remains contained, this is going to be the year that my Astilbe blooms like it did in NJ.  This is going to be the year that my nonstop roses really are nonstop.

All around me is hope, the daffodils provide bright yellow color when the sun is hidden by clouds.  Multi-colored tulips stand upright saluting spring. Flowering cherry and pear trees provide soft, puffy, pastel pink and white clouds against the sky. The Red Bud trees send pink-purple branches into the sky. My Helleborus has abundant, bushes of flowers.

Yes, this is the year, we’ll get rain at just the right time, the coffee grounds will work and I will have blue Hydrangeas.  The crab grass will refuse to germinate.

I can feel the hope and promise in the cool air as I happily weed, fertilize, remove debris and mulch my garden.

Suddenly, I hear the unmistakable caw-caw sounds overhead, I look up to see blackbirds circling my yard.  

I go inside.  I am not ready to give up on hope just yet.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.


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