A first is just the start.

I think I’ve sown sunflower seeds seven different times over the past nine years. Only one of those was the first, but the seventh was another first – the first successful year.

And here we are.

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The light moves up as the sun goes down.

A picnic on blankets and chairs. His wrinkled cheeks under his chubby ones. Her hair cascading down her growing back. My toes, tiny, covered in dirt and red polish. His toes, tiny, covered in purple sparkle shine. We eat snow peas from ten feet away and listen to the bees on the broccoli and radish.

I don’t joke when I show my garden to others, introducing it as My Happy Place.

I feel you.

I don’t blame you, little blossom. I get that you’re down. I’m down. A lot of us are down.

How do we stand tall? When the drops are beating down on your head, the sorrow and worry on mine, the horrors of the world on so many.

But stand tall we must. Stand up, speak out, and make change. Inertia is strong, but we are stronger. The power in place is tall, but we can lift one another up taller yet.

Rise with me, little blossom. Do not bow too long.

Not everyone minds the cold.

It didn’t get above freezing for days. That’s weird here. I’m hopeful for fewer mosquitoes and cabbage fly caterpillars this year.

I don’t know that I’d seen 20 degrees for multiple days in a row since moving here nearly 15 years ago.

This snapdragon didn’t mind the cold, though.

Nor did these dianthus.

I’ll leave the done-for-the-season lantana pruning alone for a bit. The salvia is already sprouting again, so I’ll prune that first.

We’re all still home. We’re all still healing. And the parent-only tropical trip is cancelled for next week. Perhaps this means I’ll catch the first new blooms of the year.