The Voice of Spring
The winds of winter still catch us in early morning, or perhaps as the sun finally sets beyond the horizon. Our hearts ache for the warm breeze to linger, that first bloom to appear. Then one majestic morning, they are waiting at the bus stop and the child notices a bulging amidst the tiny clump of pale green leaves. He pulls at his mothers sleeve and smiles, knowing that inside that bulge was a blossom awaiting just the right warmth in which to open, to declare that spring had indeed come to the mountains! Mother smiled, thinking not of the hope of the peaches’ blossom, but of the sweetness of the fruit which would hang, heavily on that branch come July.
It was a simply beautiful spring day.” She thought. She couldn’t help but take in the tiny buds on flowers, mosses, now growing on damp stones, even the azure sky over head seemed especially lovely.
She reached down and gently lifted a rotting log, encased in a curly gray lichen. Just as she picked it up, a shiny creature writhed towards the from underneath the log
It’s just a blue-tailed skink, laughed her brother, a lizard!
She felt a little foolish, still, after all the excitement, she was sure the memory of this spring adventure would remain with her always.
Certainly, spring had arrived in the mountains, the trees are filled with blossoms, pale green leaves, a sprinkling of leprechaun green leaves that seemed determined to be first. Yet, the most striking sign of spring seems to be the sunset, orange, upon a tapestry of blue and gray. A rainbow, accentuating the palette of springs colors, with orange again, taking the lead. Looking out over the mountains, one can almost feel the warmth outside, after all, it is May. Yet looks can be deceiving. Just as orange reminds us of autumn’s chill, green reminds us of spring’s warmth. Yet today, it is 51 degrees outside. A sunset, a rainbow, a photograph, all can be jesters in natures bounty of life.
It happens every March here in the mountains. Right after a cold spell, the sun will come out. It will warm the earth, causing flowers to bud and bloom. Those of us who love to garden will rush to the hardware store. We buy top soil and seeds. We dig up dead grasses, sprouting weeds.
Spring is here at last! A few glorious days of warmth. Fragile lilacs burst forth. We want so badly to forget what the unseasonal weather meant. It is not spring, not really, not yet. Grandpa called it Dogwood winter. I just sigh and call it disappointment.
She walked along the well traveled path, only mosses and a shy fern dared to decorate the ground. Underneath the aging oaks, she sat on a stone, wiping a cold tear from her cheek.
“Winter,” she thought. “I hate it,”. She found a lidless acorn and threw it down the bank. She watched as the acorn landed and rolled until it hit a log.
A blur of white peeked out from the edge of the bark. Struggling against the cold, she slid down the bank to see what it was.
“Bloodroot.” she smiled, spring would be here soon. She walked back down the path with a little more vigor. Her hands warmed by a ray of sun as she emerged from the woods.
The biter winds howls through the pines above us.
I walk, arms gripping my shoulders, down the hill.
There among the sharp spines of rosemary, the bare dirt,
A paperwhite has struggled through the soil.
Time passes, a few weeks later, I notice the buds of daffodills
and suddenly, it seems they are in full bloom.
With winter not wanting to say farewell, spring has forced his bitter wind away.
It has been another mild winter here in the Southern Appalachians. The weather has been fickle-as it always I. Listening to the weather report is a bit like reading your horoscope. Still as I walk through my garden, through yards and fields, I have seen many blooming flowers and budding trees. I am afraid that we are heard for another year of an early spring an a late frost, which often damages some crops beyond repair.
This week, I n clumps of tiny bluets growing in my son’s yard, along with patches of small white flowers. In my own yard I ha e seen a dandelion,yellow crocus and paperwhites in full bloom. shes us when we somehow manage to skip it!My bridal veil bush has swollen buds as do many other early blooming bushes.
I don’t have many strawberries this year, my health prevented me from doing a lot of gardening, but last year, their blossoms were killed by a late frost, along with apple blossoms and many flowering scrubs.
As much as I look forward to spring, I know that mother nature expects us to have winter first and often punished.