Winter Aconite

Winter Aconite is a spring flower that does not get a lot of attention, but it is always the first to rise in the spring, even before Crocus. It stretches its tiny yellow head sometimes straight through the snow. It is dependably the first true sign that winter is ending.

I have a sweet memory of this unique flower that started where a lot of my flower love stories began. At my favorite childhood home. Situated in a small neighborhood where we would walk to the library, park or ice cream parlor. It was at the beginning of a dead end street on a hill, and was the original farmhouse that the city grew around. It was right in the middle of the old town and the new, white and full of character with squirrels in the attic, bats in the basement and the original hardwood floors throughout. But the house had been vacant for several years before we moved in. The owners previous to us were two older ladies, one took care of the house and the other loved to garden. So that first spring there were flowery surprises all the way into fall! Everything was an overgrown tangled mess that we began to manage again. In March when we could finally get outside without snow pants we started exploring our new acre lot. And with snow still on the ground, I remember specifically stopping mid-run because a little yellow something caught my eye. Those little gems I later found out were my Winter Aconite, they blanketed the space in front of our sweeping white porch with so much joy I made my whole family come and look. They were not as impressed as I was. But I was undeterred in my adoration. Every spring I would await their early arrival. I’ve never since met a flower that made the Crocus’ seem late to the party.

That house would continue to surprise, with the amazing things that would come back year after year without any attention. It was our own secret garden. It took us several years before we discovered all the hidden varieties scattered throughout our old city lot. They all grew on their own, showed their pretty faces and then faded until the next season.

Everything heals. Blooming can happen even when no one notices. It is allowed to surprise and delight when you realize controlling the growth was not meant for you. Just a willingness to grow is all that's required. It’s living with open hands before God. Peace when things don’t seem peaceful. Then, when you look up from your life you realize with thankfulness you are not the person you used to be. The growth has made you stronger and ready for bigger, different things. Your season of growth will not be the same as the people around you but it is no less important, each flower blooms in its own time.

So. if you are looking for a dependable, hearty, early riser, who’s bright little face shows up when it’s still too cold for every other bloom, the Winter Aconite is always my favorite choice.

Samantha Hendrickson