It starts in February with the Witch Hazel along the Charles Street edge of the Public Garden coming into bloom, spidery, butter yellow and oh so fragrant. It appears early and heralds Spring long before the crocuses and snowdrops appear.
But this Spring Boston has a problem. The famous magnolias and cherry blossoms clearly didn’t get the memo and it appears that this year they are jumping the gun. They are bursting into bloom already, seduced by an early record-breaking heat wave. The natural order is out of whack and though it’s delightful to see them in March, what will we do on Marathon Monday when they are past their prime and dropping their blossoms all over the sidewalks of Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street? Marathoners visiting from all over the world will be bitterly disappointed!
In our office we do a lot of training of staff who will be interacting with visitors. When we step into the shoes of those visitors for a moment we realize that they don’t know that things could be any different unless we tell them. So we make sure that we don’t even mention what they can’t see while they are in our hands. We drop from our vocabulary any reference to “what a shame that we don’t have time to see the blah-blah-blah (fill in the blank?) since your plane was late”. We focus on what they can see and experience, and we do that with confidence and enthusiasm.
So our guides and staff will be pointing out the Swan Boats newly returned to the Public Garden, the tulips or whatever the next wave of precocious blooms will be, and once again we will have waves of appreciative visitors marveling at the seasonal beauty of our gorgeous city. It will just be a slightly different take on the subject this April, and we will all hold our breath and hope that next Spring, the magnolias get the memo!