Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Friendly Camellia

I'm afraid some of you up North might not understand the situation here. We live in a place where sandals and t-shirts can be worn comfortably in December on many days. Where strolling and biking are fine activities and quite a few days are downright balmy.
Perhaps you've heard me mention the camellia bushes. They are stunning, downright shocking. The one above is just blooming its heart out. Usually, at this stage, there's a pedal carpet all around the bush as well. They're breath-taking, and they are the humblest of bushes normally. They don't compete with roses in snobbery or elegance. You don't tend to them or do much for them. They look shaggy the rest of the year. But in the dead of winter, when other things won't bloom? The camellia is your rescuer, your friend who adds a bright spot to the winter day.

Because January will bring somewhat colder weather. After living in Mississippi and Alabama for years, I know how these Deep South winters are. For about 3 weeks in January, it's truly cold -- deep, bone-chilling cold, because of the humidity. A wet cold that makes you shiver. Then one day, it'll turn, and spring will begin. The birds start singing, and by March it's already warm. Then we forget the camellias who were so precious to us, in those cold January days.

If you're a Yankee who's sick to death of ice, bundling up like a bear to check the mailbox, and shoveling your driveway for hours only to have it be buried again overnight, then Oriental might be the place for you. No ice. No shoveling. Hardly a need for a coat. Lovely balmy days in December. And when you think you're missing that Northern winter? A few weeks in January to remind you that you like it down here just fine.

1 comment:

  1. Really? I am hoping Heaven will be just like Oriental. The suns seem to think it's like Christmas in Toys'R'Us but I'm holding out for Priental!


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