This Sunday is the first day of spring. Although I would never have said that spring is my favorite season, this year I’ve eagerly anticipated it after a harsh and unforgiving winter. If you’ve not thought about spring and what it has to offer, consider these musings:
1. Spring smells good. The finest perfume can’t compete with the fresh aroma of budding trees, baby grass and sun kissed earth. On windy April days, I love to hang my sheets on a clothesline to soak up the scent of those sweet breezes.
2. Spring invites us to get up off the couch and get our bodies moving. When I was a child, my mother would go to Thorin’s Hardware Store and buy us kites, balsa wood gliders and paddle balls. Like the weeks between the frigid New England winters and the dog days of summer, they only lasted a short while, but they heralded the end of icy sidewalks and snow covered back yards.
3. Spring means putting away winter boots and clothing. As a little girl, it was a thrill to be allowed to finally play outside without winter boots. The sound of sandy pavement crunching under my leather shoe soles was amazingly satisfying, and I loved the lightness and freedom that came when I traded a heavy wool coat for a light spring jacket.
4. Spring holds surprises. I love the serendipity of stepping outside on a spring morning to find that I do not need to scrape the ice off my windshield, or the realization that I can again take my snow shovel to the attic until next November.
5. Spring announces change. When I was kid, I loved to roam the neighborhood, especially down by the river that flowed at the foot of Dye House Hill. In spring the river changed from ice to water. The grass turned from ecru to emerald. Skunk cabbage awoke and in the shade, the fine snow that fell in February had turned to crystals that glittered like giant diamonds when held in the sun.
6. Spring fosters creativity. What child hasn’t crafted mud pies, drawn with sidewalk chalk and made up new verses for jumping rope? These are all games of the spring. One windy April vacation when my kids were in elementary school, I bought kites at the dollar store. They children ran through the neighborhood, the envy of their friends, trying to catch enough breeze for the kites to fly. Dollar kites do not last long, and before the day was out, Gabe’s was torn and battered. Undaunted, he pulled out a plastic shopping bag and with some creative cutting and taping, created a new kite, using the frame from the old one. By the end of the school vacation, the neighborhood was filled with children who had fashioned and flown their own kites.
7. Spring paints the world in color. Although I love the alabaster world of winter, the hues of spring bring welcome warmth to the world outside my window. The shock of forsythia that appears to have bloomed overnight, the tender pastels of violets that dance on a hillside, and the grinning faces of crocuses popping their heads above the snow ‘s crust bring a cheerful lilt to the soul and a smile to the face.
8. Spring tempts us with delicious foods. For me, spring arrives with its own cuisine. Hard boiled Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns are a breakfast treat only enjoyed in the spring. Comfort foods give way to lighter fare- new asparagus, early peas, and roasted potatoes drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. Our palates crave fresh fruits and vegetables, and we comply, because enjoying a spring afternoon is far more delightful than standing in front of a hot stove.
9. Spring delights us with a renewed gratitude for life. As a kid, I loved taking my shoes and socks off at dusk and sprinting across grass much too cold for bare feet. It was an expression of excitement to just be alive- the same expression we see when spring lambs prance through a field, or baby colts gallop after their mothers. Flowers nod in the breeze, swelling streams rush toward the gulf and all the world is in motion. Spring creates the music for a choreographed dance of celebration.
10. Spring brings promises. Promises that the seeds planted on the windowsill in March will become flowers in May. Promises that the cold, dark days of winter have ended, the shadowed nights will give way to brilliant sunlight, tears will dry, and laughter will abound. It’s time to celebrate. It’s spring.