Marker of Time

I notice tiny little leaves at the end of each branch on our fig tree. They look like green origami ready to move in slow motion and take a new shape. I tell my husband I can’t believe winter is over, it seems like it never got cold, that the yard was never barren this past winter. Green covered the ground all year long. Fiona picks a tiny yellow daisy flower, she passes the tiny red flowers that grow up the side of the retaining wall. The ratio between the flowers growing and the length of Fiona’s legs are markers of time. I remember when I planted those wildflowers, spreading the seeds, so excited for them to grow. I remember the years I waited, the flowers didn’t grow right away. I would buy more seeds each year to plant hoping they would finally grow. I read once that wildflowers can stay dormant, for years sometimes, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t one day grow. I imagined my yard covered in wildflowers, but I never imagined my little girl, my daughter in her pink one-piece unicorn tutu, the outfit she wears everyday if it’s not in the washing machine. I watch my daughter, picking wildflowers I planted years before she was born. Little strings hang down from her sleeves and the tutu on the skirt is shrunk up. It’s not as long and flowy as the day I bought it for her. Spring, moving away from the gloominess of winter, days get longer and brighter, except on rainy days. Memories of tragedy that get stirred up in late December start to fade back again, making room for joy and happiness.

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