I'm obsessed with our Magnolias this week. This is the only snow we get in Tallahassee, their thick, waxy petals piling on the winter grass. I love the thickness of hearty bloomers; I'll take a grip of tulips any day. Do you know how long it takes for a Japanese Magnolia to first bloom from the day a prehistoric-looking seed pod is planted? It can take 15 years. 15 years of growth, investment, reinvestment, winter after winter. Then finally huge grand impossible blooms shaped like chalices that show you spring is right here, even in winter, it's snow in the sky on a warm day, it's right here, both. Huge petals that make a sound when they drop. Children are like that. Mine are blooming so long after they started, so long, before they were growing and now they are blooming. It's wild, this warm winter day, how quiet, absolutely pin-drop quiet everything can be until suddenly it's not.