Growing up in Upstate New York with its long, cold winters, I watched each year for daffodils to push up through patches of ice-crusted snow, with tulips following soon after. Lilacs followed with their intoxicating fragrance and color, and the apple trees behind our house blossomed in early summer after the wild roses appeared.
We can’t set our clocks by the appearance of flower blossoms, but we can tell what season we’re in. Over decades of living in San Francisco, I learned to watch for plum blossoms in late January, tulips and daffodils in February, and cherry blossoms to make their glorious debut by March or April.
Magnolias, some with petals as large as my hand, surprise us with their bold blooms as early as mid-December, continuing to dazzle into March. We visit the botanical gardens to see the magnolias every year, seeing infinite variations of giant petals and angular branches artfully arranged against a bright sky background.
As life takes its twists and turns of light and dark, happy and sad, it is a comfort to know that flowers will show up each year, regardless of what else is happening. May we all take time to notice the reliable sources of joy around us.
This week’s HikingAutism Hike Notes from the archives is Magnolia Stroll-San Francisco Botanical Garden,which introduces the botanical garden’s remarkable collection of magnolias.
This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 46): Magnolia Stroll-San Francisco Botanical Garden
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