far too early

I noticed a yellow plastic bag out my bedroom window this morning when I was getting dressed, (which can be a time consuming endeavour, often not knowing if my day will consist of painting in a cold attic, a professional meeting, ice skating, or all of those.) Living in Waste Haven, the capital of rampant wandering garbage, a plastic bag blowing into my back yard is nothing new. But I noticed this one for its elegant, American Beauty-esque entrance. I spotted it hovering high above the trees, and watched for quite a while as it slowly made its descent, catching lightly on a branch where it danced very delicately until freeing itself. It looked to blow over the fence into the neighbors yard, but instead floated down to another branch, then another, until it landed in my dormant shade garden, where my dog stopped to look at it with curiosity too.

It came with such theatrics that it seemed more like a message dropped from the sky then random trash. I went outside to find out what the writing on it was, and discovered much to my chagrin that it had landed on the daffodils which have already begun to come up.

The daffodil bulbs were the first thing I planted after buying this house. When I first saw them pushing up out of the leaves the next spring, I was overwhelmed with a feeling I'd not yet experienced- for the first time in my life this was my own land, my own soil, and these little plants were the first thing to come from it. They were completely and totally mine, they existed only because of me. I've since planted other bulbs, perennials, bushes, trees, but every year the daffodils come back and remind me of that first moment, for that they are dearest to me.

Now, they are so early. The unusually warm weather of the last weeks has tricked them into thinking it was fine to come out of their winter sleep. But the snow is coming back, the cold is returning, and the newborn reaching shoots of my lovely daffodils have naively exposed themselves, unaware of any peril. I've never had them come up so soon. Are daffodils hardy enough to survive late February?

I wondered about this as I picked up the plastic bag. It says: "It makes a difference where you shop. ShopRite. Partners in Caring. Stopping hunger starts with you!" A red heart made of two clasped hands.

I looked up to the sky wondering what spirit dropped such a message. There were only thick clouds, a small plane headed west, and a solitary northbound seagull.