Winter Glory – by Susan Wardlaw (Adult)

Lucy came alive in the winter. As the temperature began to drop, she began to bloom. While others lived their lives in anticipation of the summer months, Lucy struggled through that period and was relieved when the leaves on her beloved Maple tree embarked on their journey from vibrant, dark green to the rich, golden colour of the syrup its sap was capable of making.
Summer was too bright for her, too loud. There was an expectation to be happy and full of life in those months, and Lucy had learned a long time ago that she could not live up to it. She was not an unhappy person, but the pressure to conform, to worship the sun, to show more skin, to be constantly cheerful, was not compatible with her shy, introverted nature.
A chill in the air made her happy. The sparkling beauty of early morning frost. The crunch of the grass beneath her feet as she wandered around her garden, looking for signs of life. For she had modelled her sanctuary in her own image. There were no single-flourish, flash-in-the-pan varieties. She had ensured the plants she grew in her pots and baskets were hardy. Evergreens like her Lavender. Perennials like the pink and purple delight of her hellebores, who, like Lucy, became more vibrant as the day wore on. Then her old favourites: the crocuses and daffodils and cyclamen. She cared for her plants as others cared for children or pets, and she was rewarded with splashes of colour on even the darkest of days. Lucy admired their robust nature, their determination to thrive irrespective of their surroundings.
It was easy to blossom in the summer. It was expected. It took a different type of strength and attitude to grow and be full of life in the colder months. It was this resilience that Lucy was most proud of, both in herself, and in her beloved little garden.

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-01 – Crocus
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