In autumn of 1986, I was a brand spanking new, first-time homeowner with an itch to plant a garden.
Along with a dozen bright red tulips and several miniature 'Tête-à-tête' daffodils, I bought a dozen purple crocus bulbs and without any concern for light requirements, planting depth, or soil amendments, I simply popped them into the ground.
My optimism trumped my garden experience. I simply hoped for the best.
Thirty some odd years later, I think it's fair to say my crocuses have taken hold.
For all these many years, these hardy fellows have been first to greet me as they spring forth in the last days of winter. The strengthening sunlight coaxes the blooms up among the old leaves of autumn and persuades the purple petals to open.
Each blossom waxes and wanes in just a day or two. Thankfully, more blossoms pop up every day, so the waves of new flowers rolls on for a week or two.
Even so, the season of the crocuses is always over too soon. Which always makes me feel a bit sad.
I remind myself every year that they are just the first of many flowers that will pop up here and there across my yard for months to come.
They are not the end.
They are just the beginning.
They are the harbingers of spring, these purple crocuses of mine, and even though I'm now quite an experienced gardener, they still fill me with optimism.