The shrubs lining the full sloughs in the spring were the pussy willow. It, along with the crocus, was the first sign of spring. In the spring we often collected bouquets of pussy willows and coloring them with chalk we could make a cheerful flower arrangement to match our bedroom decor.
As the snow melts away, we begin to see life created. A tiny crocus finds a spot between the banks of snow. Even the grass is patches of green, sometimes immersed in water for a time, soon dry up with the receding winter. Pussy Willows line sloughs. We learn to paint them with colored chalk for delightful bouquets to decorate our rooms. As the snow leaves the clumps of trees, we see the lacy effect, green hazed buds against the deep blue of the sky. That deep blue is reflected in the waters of the sloughs. A breeze causes a rippling effect making me think of fairies dancing on the surface.
Now is the time to remove our burdensome coats for lighter sweaters. It is the time to exchange our snow-boots for rubber boots. When we come inside from playing we are often soaking wet. The smell of damp cloth or rubber is soon dispelled by open windows and the gentle breeze. Mom is busy and we help with our intense spring cleaning.
White clouds drift across the blue skies and once again we study the dome, searching for those elusive forms of animals, space-ships or even people in the white, ever changing pieces of fluff.
Sometimes my dad goes out and finds the rare patch of ‘tiger-lilies’ on the prairies. The tiger lily is Saskatchewan’s flower emblem. My dad picks the flowers and always brings back a beautiful bouquet for my mother. It is sweet to me and romantic. She reacts as though he has just brought her an expensive bouquet of flowers from a flower shop. As I grow older I realize there are some who might think that a cheap gift. But in my memory it isn’t so. To me it is a gift from the heart that just doesn’t have a price on it. I will always see the love between my father and mother. That love conquered all problems and troubles they encountered.
We are poor – but we don’t know it.