It takes courage

Crocus blooms at Keukenhof, March 2007

Crocus blooms at Keukenhof, March 2007

“It takes courage to be crocus-minded…Highly irregular. Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow, sticking their necks out, because they believe in Spring and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.” Jo Sorley

Deciding to have faith and hope isn’t always easy, but it is a decision, and one that comes more naturally for some than for others.  If you find your spirits drooping a bit, think of the hardy crocus.  It’s always a welcome sight, eagerly popping up to be the first to greet springtime. Those early flowers bring us joy long before the steady warmth of the sun lures us outdoors.

As we move ever closer to another spring, I wish you many harbingers of the beautiful season to come.  Have a crocus-minded day!

One year ago

Simply unbelievable


  1. Nancy

    Gorgeous shot, Jules!!

    • Thanks Nancy! Hope you and your family are all well. We have a lot of snow, so Jeff is home today and we’re taking it easy. 🙂

  2. maryellen davis

    Just perfect! Thanks Julia. You too! Sent from my iPhone


    • Thank you, Maryellen! I had no idea when I wrote this post that it would be published on a day when winter storms have swept much of the USA. More important than ever to be crocus-minded today! Thanks for being here.

  3. Jenelle

    That one of the most delicate, fragile looking petals I’ve ever seen. The petal design is spectacular. I don’t recognize the name… Julia, did you ever see those in CA? I agree that life is all about choices. I’m one that naturally sees the glass half-full, but there are times when curveballs come my way. And this year, I am choosing to increase my faith, and like this beautiful flower, defeat the odds that try and keep me from blooming.

    • Jenelle, I don’t remember ever seeing a crocus in California, and never one like that one, except in pictures and at Keukenhof. It really is gorgeous and so arresting. I tried planting some crocus bulbs when we first moved to Virginia, but they never showed up, so I assumed that they, like the tulips, got eaten by underground critters (probably voles, according to the neighbors).

      I too am a born optimist who sometimes (lately, often) succumbs to the relentless and exhausting challenges of life. The good part about being a naturally positive person is, when I’m feeling low, I still know inherently that there is something not right about the way I’m looking at things. I applaud you for choosing faith and hope! We are surrounded by living, visible symbols that hint of the wisdom in this approach. Thanks for being here, and for joining us in our determination to rise above whatever drags us down!

    • Michael, I couldn’t agree more! My parents have been without power for more than 30 hours, but luckily my brother Al is there taking care of them. They had a generator for many years, but it’s currently on loan. Hopefully they will be OK. We got a video update from Grady (sent with his Daddy’s help) late yesterday when they still had power. Jeff and I are hoping they have underground utilities and won’t have any outages.

  4. They are the brave ones, that’s for sure. If they’re lucky, they’ll come to visit after our last strangling snow. But the shoulder seasons are highly unpredictable here up North. I mean, we can get snow in early June and I remember not too many years ago we had a day of snow in August…..phooey on that 😦 But if you’re hardy and have tenacity there’s nothing that you can’t overcome.

    • Thanks K, this is a perfect day to have a little perspective from our friends who live in the north. I can’t even get my mind around snow in June or August! We saw huge drifts of snow at Crater Lake in Oregon one June and the memory of it still amazes me. I would imagine that weather, like everything else, is something one just gets used to and learns to live with (if, as you say, one is hardy and tenacious). Also, it’s such a relative thing. I remember one year when we lived in Ohio, we went to the Bahamas in early spring when they were having a rare cold snap. To us, the temperatures in the 60’s felt warm compared to what they were at home, but we were so amused to see how bundled up the islanders were. There was even one gentleman working at the straw market wearing a ski mask! But in summer, they justifiably might have been laughing at how hot we were. I’m glad there are people who are willing and able to live all over the world – think how crowded it would be if we all moved to northern California!! 🙂

  5. Connie Reed

    Hi Julia,
    We are coming to the end of an unusual snow/ice storm for Ga. Enjoyed your blog as always! I have always found when I am feeling a little droopy or depressed….to do something nice for someone else. Just like the crocus has done for us! They sit in that cold frozen ground for months and the one day suddenly pop those little heads out and make us all happy!!! Take care and message me an update on Jeff.

    • Hi Connie, I am so happy you like the blog! I agree, doing something for another person is a great way to feel better, especially when they are good at receiving such gifts of love, which I have learned is also a valuable trait. It’s so much fun when people seem really happy for whatever you did for them. It does amaze me that these bulb flowers can come out so early with such glorious colors after freezing all winter. I was surprised when I first read that they actually need the cold weather to bloom their best. Hope you and your family are doing OK and weathering this very strange winter for Georgia. I told Jeff, I don’t remember ever having two such storms so close together while I was growing up there. Stay warm!

    • Connie, did you own a shop on Columbia Pike around 1987 (+/-)?

      • Hi Marc, I’m not sure Connie reads these comments daily, but I’ll try to message her and find out.

        • Marc, I just checked with Connie – she said she has never been to Columbia Pike, so you must be thinking of a different Connie Reed. Sorry. 😦

          • Thanks Julia. I was hoping to connect with a Connie Reed that was a co-owner of Reed’s Florist on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA. There is a message I had hoped to pass on. Thanks so much for reaching out.

            • You’re welcome, I hope you find the person you are looking for!

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I must use our southern phrase to describe the little crocus. “It’s precious!” Somedays I feel as though your words are exactly what I’m feeling. Thank you for being a highlight every day! 🙂 Love, Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila – your visits here are a highlight of every day for me too! Hope you, Bill and Walter are staying warm and enjoying the weather (as much as possible under the circumstances). Love and blessings to you all – our prayers continue.

  7. Michael

    By the way- do crocuses grow in Atlanta? My son was asking me about some spring bulbs to get.

  8. Michael

    Thanks Julia that is a great article on bulbs. I will send it to my son. I do remember seeing some large Canna lilies around there last visit.

    • I’m not good at distinguishing among the various types of lilies, but I love them. I remember we had some day lilies in our yard when I was growing up. When Jeff and I moved to California, our little house on base had huge, gorgeous calla lilies growing all across the front of it. That was my first and really only exposure to them. I don’t know if those would grow in a very hot climate. The various kinds of bulb flowers probably are my favorites. They seem so dazzling in color and have such unique shapes. Plus you don’t have to keep re-planting them like with annuals (unless the critters get to them).

  9. Michael

    Hope your parents are doing OK now.

    • Yes, they have their power back today; all their children are relieved!!

  10. What a fantastic quote! Yes, to all of the above. ♥

    • Thank you Alys!

  11. Beautiful!

    • Thank you!

  12. Great post! Love the crocus!

    • Thank you. Aren’t those flowers amazing and delightful?! Perfect for early spring.


  1. Crocus flower video | Dear Kitty. Some blog
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