Joy of Spring
Spring. We anticipate it. Anxiously we await it, even at the start of February with our ridiculous practice of Ground Hog’s day. It officially begins with the vernal equinox on March 20. However, the weather is more of an indication. The first couple of days above freezing gives us hope that spring will indeed return. Then it seems like just a taunt when we sink back into winter with more snow and bitter cold. We think the first of March should be spring, the first warm day in the month when the snow begins to melt. However, March is like a rollercoaster ride, the temperatures climb up and then plunge back down. One day it feels like spring with temperatures in the forties, only a slight breeze and the sun shining bright. The next day is leaden with clouds, there are a few flurries and the temperature dropped twenty degrees, the wind blowing fiercely. The first day of spring, yesterday, the sun graced the day, shining bright and warming the earth. It came up in a burst of pink and gold. Its light sifted through fog in the distance with breathtaking splendor.
Spring seems to come in stages. First there’s the whisper in the wind, the movement of the trees that speaks of it. The air itself begins to change. Next, the snow melts, in the process mud and running water is everywhere. Then comes a period of time when the world is brown. Once the snow is gone and the temperatures continue to rise and the frost is out of the ground, life begins to return. It starts to dry. The mud disappears. A warm, steady rain brings the bright green grass. Crocuses bloom then daffodils.
It is at this point, more than any other that I see the world with the eyes of a child, better still sense the world around me with the heart of a child – childlike eagerness to believe in miracles and things unseen, to be open to a world of mystery, beauty, and splendor. Feel the spiritual force at work through nature. And with joy observe spring unfold, marveling at all that it is. Standing in awe as the childlike sense of wonder fills me.
Spring is magical and beautiful. It has a spiritual element to it. Suddenly from death and decay, life comes bursting forth in brilliant colors, bird song, and light. The darkness and colorlessness of winter gives way to stunning, breathtaking abundance of life.
In the morning, I walk on the ice covered puddles just to hear the hollow snap of the thin ice as it cracks under me, and although it cracks I don’t always break it entirely. Then in the afternoon, I deliberately tromp through the puddles to feel like a child again. There is something fun and fascinating about walking in a puddle. In delight I watch the mud mix with the water, rising to the surface, swirling about. There is beauty even in that.
There is a distinct smell in the air as everything begins to thaw, an earthy smell of soil and wet wood. The snow begins to recede. We marvel at how fast it melts. Water starts as a trickle down the driveway creating rivers everywhere. As the temperatures climb and more snow melts, the rivers rush, tumbling over gravel and dead grass. The sound of flowing water whispers softly, in some places it bubbles loudly. The pond fills rapidly. The yard is quickly dotted with puddles. The ground is soft and squishy. Mud is unavoidable.
Suddenly there are buds on the trees, seemingly each day they grow larger. Birds start returning. Mourning doves and red wing black birds and a few others whose songs I can’t identify. And then there is the childlike excitement of sighting the first Robin. My spirit blossoms like a flower in the warm sun, how I missed the feeling of warmth. The days are longer and lighter, further lifting the mood.
The animals become restless, running around in the pen, going through fences. I too become restless – waiting to sink my bare feet into green grass, an urge to run, ride my bike, climb a tree, lay on my back watching the clouds, just sit and watch life unfold in front of me. Waiting for the first flowers to pop up and brighten this world of brown. I am eager for color to return, to be washed in it – a desperate need to have color fill the dreary world. Impatiently, I wait for the trees to break bud.