If one wishes to crush the spirit of the soul that longs for spring, perhaps the best way is to plant magnolia trees north of the Mason-Dixon line. Plump, pink buds adorned the trees lining the road into town last week. The little star magnolia trees along the thoroughfare had already started to bloom, and crocuses were announcing the coming of warmer days. I allowed my self to indulge in what I knew was a hopeless faith that this would be the year we’d actually get to see the magnolia bloom.
Today as I passed through town, the antifreeze filled croci (yes, that is also also the correct plural; look it up) look much as they did last week, but the petals of the star magnolia litter the ground like so many tea-stained tissues. The pink magnolia buds, never opened, still cling to the tips of their branches like overstuffed cigars. Last week’s potential has become this week’s FAIL. The below freezing temperatures of a few nights ago weren’t even unseasonable. This year, like most, the magnolia flowers never had a chance. As for myself … at least I had a little hope last week that this would be the year they got a chance to bloom. I’ll just have to wear blinders going through town for the next few weeks, until the new growth of stem and leaves pushes the dead bud to the ground, where municipal lawnmowers will mulch them into the ground to provide fodder for next year’s April Fool hopes.