I stood in shirt sleeves and watched a honeybee settle into the bright red and yellow camellia blossom in my Bethesda yard. It was about 63˚F, but it was January 2, not April 2. The next day, temperatures plunged and some eight inches of snow bent my camellia bush to the ground and sent birds scrambling for my snow-laden feeders.
I focus my binoculars on a brilliant male cardinal — its scarlet body, the black around its bill, its distinguished crest, its elegant, slowly flicking tail. I am struck by its beauty against the white of snow and dark green of holly.
The longing to return to some idealized “normalcy” is palpable following years of a mismanaged and devastating pandemic, along with the growth of violent white supremacy ignored and then stoked by President Donald Trump.
In my yard, the golden-centered red camellias bloomed brightly in November. Cherry trees blossomed; roses bloomed. Such reawakening was surely a sign of hope as cars rode in circles, honking and waving signs at the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.