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Bulbs promise new life to come

In the middle of winter,

When all is ice and snow,

In the middle of winter,

Good things are starting to grow.

It was a gloomy, frigid morning when I remembered that I had tucked under a deck chair an empty flower pot filled with old potting soil, and the remains of tulips and ranunculus bulbs. The colors of their blooms had provided awesome beauty during the spring and summer months, so I saved the bulbs for a new life in the future. Now, I remembered them, hoping that the icy weather had not ended any life left in the precious bulbs.

I bundled up and went to the deck to retrieve what I hoped to save from the cold. Rescued to my warm kitchen, I pulled back the dry potting soil that had blanketed them for several months and discovered old blooms, dry leaves and whoa, what was this tip of green emerging from the top of a brown bulb? Not just one tip but several tips reaching for light, trying to grow. Absolute proof that life can be hidden in forgotten places and will strive to produce in the most adverse circumstances.

It is too late to break through the frozen ground and plant them this year, but I will find an appropriate container and nestle them carefully in some potting soil so they can continue their urge to grow and hope for another generation of delicate pink blooms.

As for the ranunculus bulbs, I am unsure of their future. I’ve had no experience with the small warty corms. I do have hope that their life cycle can continue if I nurture them properly. Their delicate colorful blooms added inspiration to my garden last summer as they waved a cheery “good morning” to me each day.

Jeanie Oakleaf Anderson is a member of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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