Yes, spring has arrived. I know it by the violets emerging through last autumn’s half decomposed oak leaves, and the apricot boughs swelling and bursting with the first brave white blossoms.
I say brave because spring is a risky business, and no gambler’s money is safe on those first blooms. Still uncharted are the temperatures and moods of the days ahead, with no assurance of those blossoms settling into succulent fruits.
No, spring is wild and changeable, shifting between the solid assurance of winter cold and summer heat. Mercurial, spring vacillates in temperature and mood.
So how do I know the arrival of spring?
The restless tossing of wind in the still leafless trees, the stiff breezes scouring the last seed pods from the neighboring Tree of Heaven.
Daffodils pushing up through the neighbor’s bark dust.
Children skateboarding in their t-shirts (while I’m still swaddled in my winter coat).
Birds gathering frayed fabric strings, twigs, and dried grasses to line their nests.
The light edging into my bedroom earlier each morning, the insistent rays slanting on my unshielded eyes.
Hope rising in me as I choose seeds and seedlings to tuck into my tiny garden on the back porch.
Spring is a time for courageous beginnings, for planting dreams with no assurance of the outcome but great expectation for the harvest.
This is the time for releasing the end of the winter, the last paper-dry leaves and seed pods clinging to the branches cascading from the branches. I eye the pile of donations waiting to go to the fire relief center and finally make the drive to release them for my neighbors to enjoy.
Inhalation – breathing in hope and dreams. Exhalation – letting go of the old that no longer fits or serves me.
Spring sits on this cusp, between inhale and exhale, that expectant pause before the air rushes in again.
Resting in that quiet moment, all roads are open to me.
What seeds are you planting? What detritus are you ready to release?
These are the gardener’s choices that portend a bountiful harvest.
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