She flung open the door and rushed across the patio to the lawn. Yes, those were crocuses blooming.
In the fading light of the day, she took pictures of the buds and marveled at how early the blooms were.
The next day, Carol's first thoughts upon waking were of the crocuses in the lawn. She hoped for a sunny day and within hours, her hopes were realized. The sun was shining.
Soon enough, the crocuses began to open.
In Carol's mind, they were opened one by one by tiny garden fairies running from one bloom to the next. They tickled each bloom open and then stood back to admire their work.
The first show of spring was well underway.
By mid-afternoon, Carol could wait no more. She opened the back door, making a bit of extra noise to alert the garden fairies of her presence, and made her way to the lawn.
So many crocus blooms.
She walked along and began to count the blooms. 1, 2, 3.... 76, 77, 78... 210, 211, 212... all the way to 382.
Carol was delighted, but in her delight she began to sense how quickly spring can arrive. Was she ready? She hadn't ordered her seeds yet. She should do that now. Was this the entire crocus show? Carol knew there were thousands of other crocuses in the lawn, and reminded herself this was not the end of the show, it was the beginning.
She wondered, "If there are 382 crocus blooms now, how many blooms will pass through this garden before the end of the season?"
The answer, she decided, was more than she'd ever be able to count. And she knew then how blessed she was to be a gardener, how blessed she was to still feel the excitement each spring when the first of the crocuses bloom.
Then she went back inside and began to dream of May.