Saturday, March 21, 2009
SPRING IS HERE
Spring is here…isn’t it? Hmm-m-m? If you took only the long view—gazing at the island across the stream from the cottage—you might conclude this new season is yet hidden, off in the wings somewhere, waiting, certainly nowhere to be found here along the river. The woods appear stark, open, skeletal. The earth is mostly brown, with only a suggestion of green—in fact, a green that has simply persisted all winter, and thus fails to be in the least encouraging. But look closer. Why, I do believe the green did indeed quicken over the past month, turned brighter, felt and reflected some inner stirring of life; moreover, the color is spreading. That green patch you’ve been watching since the snow melted is perhaps a dozen times larger, and practically glowing. Okay…but there is little else to pin your faith on. Wrong! There are signs of the new season everywhere; sights and sounds and smells that proclaim the fact that life still stirs to the ancient pull of warming sun and increased light. Renewal begins; rebirth and resurrection are abundantly underway. Spring is hope fulfilled, a promise kept. It is that blush of green under the trees, the burgundy tip of a volunteer elder, the fresh mound of dirt in front of the groundhog’s den beside the road. Spring is the joyful song of robins amid the darkness before dawn, the whistle of a cardinal in the cedars near the fence, the companionable gabble of the mallard pair on the Cottage Pool. To find spring you have to open your heart along with your eyes. You have to look close, listen with care. Breath deep, inhale the vernal tonic that is laden with the season’s unmistakable elixir. Sniff, use that feature between your eyes and mouth for something besides a handy perch for your sunglasses. Do you smell the good rot of last year’s leaves? The dusty sweetness of sun-baked sand? Spring is a feast for the senses—each and every one. Feel the velvety smoothness of just emerging lilac leaves. Crush a blade or two of wild onion between your fingers…now, catch its scent; yeah, go ahead and give it a taste. You can pick a handful an add it to salads, you know. Before food came packaged and labeled from big-box groceries, it was plucked from backyards and rural byways. Your grandparents actually gathered up this stuff and ate it…and lived! Glory be! Spring is here. The old yellow almanac with the hole in the corner called it right, after all. And the best part is—well, the best is yet to come. I tell you, I can hardly wait!