It doesn’t matter how many times I experience it (and I’ve experienced it 52 times now), I’m always amazed at the transformation between winter and spring. Though I think about it at other times of the year, the memory of it can’t do justice to the real thing.
It always starts with the Daffodils, I guess that’s why I love them so much. They are harbingers of longer days and warm breezes – poking their brave golden heads above the cold earth to signal that “this too shall pass.”
Next comes the hint of green along the ground, brown turning to green that grows more brilliant day after day. Then the leaves unfurl (along, I admit, with the pollen allergies – isn’t there always a down side?) and everything, including cars, houses and even my old white tomcat, Tom T. Doody, turns green too.
I always watch for the first hint of greenery in the trees along the roadsides on my way to work in the mornings, and though the day itself may be cold and gray, I feel my spirits lift when I see that first blush of green. And this last unusually cold, bleak, winter has made the spring all the more precious. After all, how can you appreciate the light if you haven’t experienced the darkness?
Charles and I saw our first “lightning bugs” out on the back deck last week and my son Zack told me he’d already spotted a lone hummingbird at the feeder on his front porch. The frogs are croaking along the creek – new life everywhere is waking up.
One of my favorite things to do is drive along country roads and watch young calves and colts frolicking in the fields. The world is so new to them and there is such pure unadulterated joy in their innocence.
Each season brings its own joys, of course – summer will soon be here with its long lazy hot days, fall will return with its brilliant cool color and crispness, followed again by cold days that make you want to pull the covers over your head and just stay in bed.
But most of all, I wish I could bottle the way these fresh new days feel to help tide me over for the less lovely days that will inevitably come again. But let’s not think of those, instead, let’s find some comfort in knowing it’s partly the brevity of the season, like life, that makes it so precious. After all, today is really all we have.
“Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.” (Robert Frost, “A Prayer in Spring,”)
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.