I went out this morning to photograph the beauties you see here. The two pots of Gerbera daisies have survived two Mississippi winters now and are still going. About a month ago, they were so depleted and wilted in the heat and drought, I thought they were gone, for sure. But then my husband trimmed them back a little and kept watering (I had given up on them), and now look!
Mississippi winters, you say? What winters?
We do have them this far south, although we often have 80-degree temps on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Day. Mostly, winter doesn’t arrive full blast until January and February, but when it does, it’s miserable: cold rain, biting wind, below-freezing temps, and sometimes—once in a great while—snow. Or ice. Or both.
We don’t handle snow or ice well in Jackson. An inch of snow, and everything grinds to a halt. A quarter-inch of ice causes havoc on the roads; half an inch cuts off power and brings down massive old oak trees and pines.
But when there’s just the right kind of snow, it’s magical. Several years ago, I woke early on a Sunday morning to a profound silence, and I thought: Could it be? There had been a slight chance of snow in the forecast the night before, not enough to raise my hopes. But the absolute hush, the stillness, made me get up and look out the window. There it was, six inches or so of pristine snow, enough to blanket and transform everything. A day later, it would mostly be gone, but I loved it while it stayed. I don’t think we’ve had a snowfall since, certainly not one to equal it: only a dusting, a slight sheen of ice, just enough to make me wish for more.
So I will wait for it. I’ll hope and watch like the child I once was.
Meanwhile, the daisies will die back this winter. This time, maybe they won’t survive. But come Spring, I’ll watch for the fragile green shoots to rise out of the cold soil, watch for them to come back in all their natural resilience. A reminder for me. For all of us.