SONGS OF NATUREMy Love Affair with the Painful Sweetness of Spring
It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms
to embrace he knows not what.” ~
Hmmm, if I had the chance, would I trade the blooming promise of spring for a warmer climatewhere winter is just a footnote on the calendar?I ponder that question from time to time in the forlorn depths of winter. Around mid-January,
when I’m scurrying from
the car to the store and back and slip-sliding on icy sidewalks, it seemslike a trade I would be willing to make. But eventually, and inevitably, the calendar page turns toApril and the tide of the season begins to turn.
“Every April God rewrites the book of Genesis.”
Malley, American Physicist, 1858 - 1932
Slowly at first, in fits and starts, as if not quite certain that it can work its miracle yet again.Gradually it builds momentum a few warm days at a time. Intrepid wildflowers spring upovernight. Tentative buds appear on the Pussy Willows. The days begin to stretch their legs andpush into the evening hours.When the first Mourning Cloak butterfly appears, chocolate brown and yellow fringed, andflutters about, I begin to have faith that spring has really taken hold. Then the Red Admiralbutterflies begin dashing madly about and the verdict is in.Sometime in late April the big push happens. Nature opens wide her palette of colours. In amatter of days, or so it seems, the trees go from brown and bare to frothing with green. Where afew days hence only a smattering of yellow appeared, a wildflower patch bursts out in a chorusof colour.
It’s around this time when I shake my head and wonder:
How could I give this up? Thisquintessential rebirth and renewal. The awakening and revival of the earth
and with it, therevival of my spirit and my enduring love for the fruits of mother earth.And yes, of course, the wondrous migration of the birds which reaffirms that all is right andnoble still. And that the cycles of life, which give meaning and purpose to our existence, our stillintact despite our human indulgences which threaten them.
“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices
instead of colours, there would be an
unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian Poet, 1875
Perhaps I could find it within me to sacrifice April on the altar of endless summer. But May,when the doors swing wide open and spring charges forth with reckless abandon, I simplycannot envision living without.