It has always been difficult for me to choose a favorite season. I can easily narrow my list down to four finalists, but then I’m pretty much stumped.
Today though, I’m rather certain I like spring best, particularly after a winter as long as we’ve had in Northern Virginia. (Yes, I can hear my New England family saying, “Winter? We’ll show you winter!” All I can say is that for some reason, I’m not pining as much as usual to visit you.)
Across most of the nation, winter receded like an ocean tide this year, ebbing and advancing. With each advance we received yet another blanket of snow, another no-school day, another bring-in-more-wood-for-the-fireplace night, another too-cold-to-leave-the-bed morning.
We’re weary, and some of us are even a bit gloomy. It’s been that kind of winter. But now we’re finally stumbling out of our homes, still dazed and a little hibernation-groggy, and we can see hope seeping up through the tired, cold land that even a week ago seemed to threaten to never thaw. It’s in the air.
The trees are still bare, for the most part. Still we know that those tiny, tight buds at the end of every branch are pieces of beauty and new life preparing to burst forth. And just below the surface of the damp ground, millions of eager daffodils, crocuses, and lilies are trembling with anticipation, waiting for the warm sun to call them upward. It’s coming.
There’s something precious about watching nature re-awaken every year. It melts the icy memories until we can barely recall running outside in jammies to warm the frozen car, or sliding over icy patches, hands clutching wildly for something stable, or re-shoveling that mound of white stacked against the mailbox by midnight plow trucks.
Instead, we remember the frogs and crickets who will be back soon to sing their evening serenades, and the mockingbirds and finches who will post themselves high in the trees, where the acoustics will do them justice. And hummingbirds, and butterflies. (And yellowjackets & wasps, but we’re ignoring them for now.)
Spring is a time to plant and wait, knowing good things are coming. Spring also reminds us about second, third and fourth chances, or however many we need. The yard is a clean slate. Squirrels haven’t stolen this year’s crop of tomatoes, we haven’t lost the grass to dandelions, and the holly bush we thought for sure had been trimmed back too far is showing signs of life. Life is all around us.
For those of you who think you can’t make it one more day, trust me, you can. Spring reminds us that all things can be made new—even people. Toss off that cloak of weariness and delight in every good thing. Allow yourself to take joy in the anticipation. Breathe deeply, and notice anew the gift that is spring.
Because in springtime, anything is possible.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. — Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Christmas year-round: March
I’m a little behind with my March Christmas idea because of family concerns, but it’s not too late to do a little something. In fact, let’s deck the halls, you know, with spring—Eggs, chicks, flowers and bunnies! It’s just the ticket for driving winter out for good…or at least for eight more months.