B.B. Boudreau

Novelist | Singer

Forsythia Forbearance


In 2023, I waited impatiently for your bloom to announce true spring. It never came. The anticipation of yellow brilliance faded to the disappointment of green just like all the other living vegetation of New England. I was heartbroken. Green emerged and spread. At first I held out hope that your happy blooms would still appear, but I admitted defeat by mid-May. Forsythia was a bust last year.

The summer proceeded without your glorious overture, and I was resigned to the satisfaction of other colors. Your absence slowly faded from my regular thoughts. Autumn offered its brilliance against cobalt blue skies to fill my longing for yellow, a yellow that never matches your triumph. Winter arrived with its gray and somber palette, and we dug in for the interminable wait. Finally, the crocus bloomed, dead leaves were cleared and anticipation set in.

An untimely freeze foiled your celebration last year. This year, I held my breath and checked temperatures daily. The warmth spread gradually like poured caramel. Your yellow buds fattened with frequent vernal showers. Then, from the savings account of energy expended annually on blooming came the brilliance of an unprecedented forsythia exposition. Blooms multiplied on your artistic sprays, shouting “we are still here, look at us now!” Sunlight amplified the presentation, your neon hue bouncing back lemon, cadmium, bright yellow perfection. Day upon day I drove back roads searching for your magnificence, snapping photo after photo that would never capture your real-life display. Your show, which usually lasts two weeks or so lengthened to three (or maybe four?), seeming to compensate for the loss of last year’s forsythia bloom.

I don’t remember such a forsythia season so exquisite, so long. Mild, cool weather supported your delicate sprays, allowing them to linger. Forsythia seemed to appear where I had never before seen them.

Last year’s no show became this year’s achievement. From front yards and backyards, roadside edges, straining to be seen from the sleeping undergrowth of forest, you burst into our lives with an unprecedented exposition of renewal. You have revived my hope for survival. I will mark the forsythia show of 2024. It was worth the wait.

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