Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Springtime is upon us

Magnolia Tree
Every year, I look forward to the coming of spring, my favorite time of year. 

Here in the Arkansas Ozarks, spring marks a real change of the season as the winters' short days and long, cold nights is replaced by warm sunshiny days. I grew up in Illinois where we had to wait for nice weather to catch up to the calendar. But here in the Ozarks, the Spring Equinox represents a real change. Oh, we may get one or two blustery days, but here, it is when the world awakens. 

Spring is a promise of new hope, new life, and new dreams with no better symbol than the magnificent Magnolia tree in our front yard. It is always a reminder to cast off the old and mundane, to replace anxiety with anticipation. We know where we've been, but the coming of spring is a belief that it is time to step lightly into a better tomorrow. 

Spring Anemone
I marvel at the subtle changes around me at this time of year. Whether it be the disappearance of old, dirty piles of snow or the emergence of tiny green sprouts poking out from a blanket of leaves, spring is all around. Buds appear on the trees . The landscape is awash with the slightest hint of color not seen just weeks before. The other day I even caught a glimpse of a tiny dandelion flower hiding among the leaves.

But it is so much more than that. I feel the difference.

There is joy in doing mundane chores, especially the ones outside. I just want to clean things. There are not enough hours in the day to take care of it all, but in the springtime, I want to. 

This is the time our daily lives expand out of our houses and into the great outdoors. Just the other day, I swept the leaves off the porch and back deck. I did some tidying up around the yard and after cooking dinner, decided to eat at the table on the deck. For me, it was a game-changer. 

Arkansas sky
Since the whole Covid-19 scare, and subsequent isolation from people and places outside my own four walls, it was just nice to sit outside where there are no walls, no boundaries, no limitations. The temperature was comfortable, with a slight breeze. Birds flew lazily from one branch to another, all the while singing their springtime songs. Further away, I could see flocks of them flying northward. A distant symphony of Spring Peepers filled my ears. As the sun set, it painted the sky with pink and purple iridescence. A tiny sliver of the moon was visible in the western sky. I was entertained by a couple of bats that flew erratically across the backyard, up and over the roof behind me. 

It wasn't just the buds on the nearby Lilac bush that enchanted me, it was my own enjoyment of my surroundings. As the sun dipped beneath the tree line, the light and all its colors drained from the sky. The tangle of branches looked like black lace against the sky. As beautiful as it was, I imagined what it will look like in a few weeks when leaves fill those spaces.  The chartreuse of those baby leaves are so beautiful. The special green/yellow color doesn't last long, but when those young leaves appear and the landscape takes on that special green color, it is wondrous.

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