Sunday, February 13, 2011


Hooray! The grocery store where I usually shop had primroses out front this week! A single rack filled with a dozen trays, happy hopeful flowers of bright yellow, deep red, and joyful pink.

In the world there are a lot more complex flowers than the primrose, more heat resistant, some better for arranging, some more flamboyant. But I think primroses the bravest, for they are the ones that show up first, and can keep themselves together, even if winter isn't quite through blasting us. They bravely go to the front lines of our imaginations, reminding us that there is more to life than winter and inversion and shades of gray, dead brown and more gray. "Spring is coming," they announce, "Somewhere under the snow there is hope".

It was warm enough on Saturday that I tied up my walking shoes and walked outside for the first time since November. The smell of things warming up was so wonderful that I started to get light headed from all the deep breathing. I was disgustingly cheerful as I called out to other walkers who couldn't resist getting out of the house as well. I live on a road that leads up to a lovely little canyon, and it was a steady stream of folks who just had to see for themselves if their favorite trails might not have disappeared completely after all the snow storms.

Though I had planned to walk at least two miles in any direction before turning around, my footsteps led me to the house of someone close by I know who started chemo therapy at the end of December. I worried I might be disturbing her, but her daughter showed me in and we had a great time chatting. She had been on a short walk that morning, but the second phase of chemo made her back ache, so she was curled up on the couch with a heating pad. She rubbed the few tufts of hair left on her head and said that should know soon if the second drug would allow her to keep what little hair was left. She was thrilled to say that even though she couldn't taste anything, at least her mouth didn't taste like chemicals anymore, and even though she didn't feel like moving much, she didn't feel like throwing up any more either. She thanked me for the gum and scentless lotion that I had brought previously like I had brought her something that took effort and talent. Her eyes, more pronounced with the weight loss, were bright and alert, and hopeful.

She's like those primroses, brave and hopeful. I liked primroses before, but they mean a little more to me now.


  1. I'll never look at Primroses the same way again. Thanks for this new perspective Holly.

  2. Lovely. I always knew you were brilliant - that you had eyes in your head and a brain for sorting through all the meanings - till you got to the patterns below it all. Now I want to buy primroses and I don't want cancer.

    Thanks. it was a lovely read.

  3. Nice Holly. You can touch people in a special way.

  4. This got tossed into my Spam (which I never usually discover before it's deleted.) I'm so grateful we have reconnected! This was most beautiful and meaningful to me. You have always had such a way expressing with beauty and insight your every day observations. Thank you for sharing the things that inspire you with those of us who are still hiding from winter! (And good luck with the weddings!)

  5. kay. I'm here in Santa Fe with Gin, and I was 163 blogs behind - a small number, considering that Reader swallows anything older than a month, which means maybe 500. And you have solved your paragraphing problem. And so I PROMISE that, in the next few weeks, I will catch up with you again. I mean. I read this one. I'll read the new ones. I should NEVER have started reading novels again . . .