There is a misconception about springtime. In countries that have seasons, and in parts of this country, the first stirrings of new life follow the frigid snows and icy winds of winter. In the southwest, where the arrival of fall is oftentimes postponed for record high September temperatures, it is the heat that kills us, not the cold. Yes, the light recedes and the days become dismal. Winds, gentle winds, rip the final leaves from barren branches. But, let the clouds accumulate, allow the rains even for one blighted weekend to soak the earth and before the 21st of December has arrived, the world is green again.


This is my friend wading into it. Last year I knocked down these same weeds — at least an earlier version of them — while it was still an even fight. I filled a large wheelbarrow over and over again with this moist profusion. My friend stretched out in the bottom of each wheelbarrow as I heaped it full, a game of her own devising. She rode to the green waste container as a secret emissary, and once revealed, ran back for more. I'm not convinced she's a cat, but she is my friend.


A few steps away is this more perpetual world. A bucket nestled among evergreens under a canopy of live oak. My friend often drinks from this bucket. Now the water lasts longer and moss has begun to grow. In T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets he wrote, "Midwinter spring is its own season..." He wrote that while living in London where they have seasons and a definite sense of what comes when. What would he have said, I wonder, about the springtime leading us to winter?