We've just concluded one of my favorite weeks of the year. Spring burst week. The week that starts out scraggly and ends in neon spring green everywhere you look.
When I look out my kitchen window, I see yellow forsythia just past peak, daffodils, early tulips, vinca, a magnolia ready to bloom any day, and lots and lots of green. I have been waiting for this.
The months of winter have their own beauty, and I appreciate them. The starkness of the bare trees against the gray sky, the quiet of snowfalls, the crystal clear winter nights when you think the black canopy could shatter in the brittle cold – they are all a comfort to me in their own way and in their own time. December, January, and February are the time for this. By March, though, I am done, so done with it.
The waiting is the hardest part
March, then, can be a tough month. Winter is not quite through with us, but it's not spring either. The planning for real spring has begun – baseball signups, plant orders – but it's not tangible yet. It can be a month to endure.
Once April arrives, it's a tease. It's still not really spring, except by the calendar. The first buds appear and the first bulbs poke out of the ground, but it can still snow. The latest snow I personally remember was late April. It was 1987 and I walked to a review session for a final exam in six slushy inches.
Finally it arrives, albeit slowly
Even though we still have cool days and chilly nights into late May and even early June, there's always this week in April when it warms up enough to signal the plant life out of dormancy. The evidence is tentative a first: a poke of hosta here, tip of a lily there, swelling on the clematis vine. But then, seemingly overnight, the tree branches are tinged with new yellow-green. Spring really and truly will come, and summer after it. The promise has been kept and the frigid faith of the winter months honored.
Everywhere you go, people smile. Even the crabbiest curmudgeon is lulled into optimism by the lengthening days and the warming sun. The garden centers are full of daydreamers and their daydreams of lush gardens and rich soil. The kids start marking time to the last day of school.
It's just a week, and it doesn't last, but it's also more than that. The analogy is obvious, but I'll say it again. It's rebirth, in all it's glory.