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Tough Like a Crocus

As the eastern half of the country digs out from an early March snowfall, we're reminded that winter isn't quite through with us yet. But it's also obvious from the lengthening hours of daylight - and the calendar - that those of us in northern climates will soon see signs of spring even as winter struggles to maintain its grip. One of those very first welcome signs are crocuses. Do you have any in your garden?

For such tiny little flowers, they're amazingly tough. Often, snow will still be on the ground, yet the blooms poke up through it and hold their heads high. Where no other signs of life seem to be stirring in the garden, there will appear the little crocuses...sometimes carpets of them.

There are something like 80 species of crocus; one of the smallest and earliest to bloom, Crocus Chrysanthus, is aptly known by the common name "Snow Crocus."

If, like me, you get a little bit tired of winter by this time of year, the first sighting of these diminutive plants can be a real shot in the arm...a welcome symbol of optimism. How is it possible for such undersized, seemingly fragile blossoms to flourish under such harsh conditions? They're obviously stronger than they seem. And maybe there's an analogy there.

This sharp economic downturn is certainly a harsh climate. Tough news keeps coming, day after day. Many of us face very real difficulties. We know we have to maintain a sense of resiliency, but that's sometimes easier said than done. Still, by shifting focus away from the factors we can't do anything about to the many things over which we do have influence - we might surprise ourselves.

Maybe we have more control than we thought - like the crocuses, blooming even in the snow. They're tougher than they look. They survive in a harsh climate. So can we.

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