A freezing spell in Spring is nothing unusual around here. I expect Easter to be cold. The last three years' bouts of ice literally froze the azalea blossoms in their place, and this year, some of my shrubs just didn't recover. The branches stayed bare and became increasingly brittle. I've known that I just needed to dig them up and start over, but it's been of those things that I've delayed. Their visible neglect was both a reproach to me and a warning of my interior life to anyone who could see.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a few leaves on the remains of one of the bushes, just a cluster or two down near the bottom. One plant was dead on one half, but leafy on the other. Yesterday I noticed that it's budding. The azaleas are coming back. The front of my house won't be covered in lush, magenta blossoms as it has in the past. The dead bushes still have to be removed but, there is more than death here. Beauty does return.