"I'm finding some days she closes too - Lumalia" yellow tulips bent to the right

Today they were closed: my neighbor’s tulips. They have their front yard adorned with multiple varieties and daffodils that have all come to bloom as spring has made its way to the Pacific Northwest. A month of more sunshine, longer days, and warmer temperatures greeted us in early April. But then an unprecedented storm hit with recorded inches collected and now what we like to call the third winter is hereafter the first spring. It’s not fully here, the warm temperatures, or the blooms vibrant to stay. They’ve peaked out but today as the clouds hover over us like a blanket I’m a little bit tired of being smothered in wishing for my skin to taste the warmth of the sun again they closed up too. 

I’m coming to realize I feel a lot like these tulips on my journey to bloom. They find their way to breed underground after living in a bulb whose roots then sprout. The bloom is always first green, then the color starts to take over. With each kiss of the sun, with warmer days and warmer rain, she begins to open, just slightly each day. 

I always thought it was linear, the blooming, always opening. But as this third winter has set in I’m finding she closes some days. Pulls in her pedals all day long, letting just the dew drip in between her slips and moisten her to keep going to the full expression of her lips. The part, the expansion, the full explosion of color. She’ll reach her peak soon, then the pedals will start to fall, back into the earth, back to the beginning where she’ll go in again. But unlike others, the tulip has this trick.

She multiples by herself, duplicates underground where no one is looking until next year when she’s sprouting again. This time not with one stem but many. 

I’ll keep watching her each year knowing it’s her I’m learning to be: gently opening, fiercely multiplying, and some days feeling the need to close letting only the rain hoover on my lips.