Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pre-Spring Presentiments

Spring is in the air this last weekend in January. The sun is glistening off the leaves still damp from Friday morning's storm. The sky is that corner-store-icee blue that seems too brilliant to belong to nature. A gentle wind is blowing the musty scents of living earth in through the windows. Our backyard birds are singing happily. And buds are opening into flowers. My 5-year-old came running in the house a little while ago with a bright pink camellia blossom and confirmed: "Spring is coming!"

But it was the frogs who first let me know that this would be a spring-heralding weekend even well before the sun rose yesterday morning. I was out on a pre-dawn walk when I approached a wetland near our home and heard their operatic cacophony. Which made me wonder: how do they all decide it's time to bring in the new season? Though the answer might be logical (maybe even mundane) to herpetologists, it remains a mysterious miracle to me. One of the many mysteries and miracles that make pre-spring days so nourishing.

As my sister pointed out earlier, it really shouldn't be this warm at this time of year. The average highs for our town are about ten degrees cooler than the highs yesterday and today. So I should probably be enjoying myself a bit less and fretting a bit more. But I just can't seem to help reveling in the warmth and brightness.

For these are the sorts of days that give us hope that the world will soon be flowering again. The sorts of days that fortify us with the strength we will need to make it through the stormy weather and arduous work that spring will also bring. The sorts of days that remind us just what a gift and a privilege it is simply to be alive. The sorts of days that allow us to know exactly what Anne of Green Gables meant when she said, "Isn't it good just to be alive on a day like this? I pity all the people who aren't born yet for missing it. They may have good days, of course, but they can never have this one."

Tomorrow it is supposed to be chillier, as well it should be. But until then, I plan to bask, celebrate, and hope.

--Dorothy Aldis

In February there are days,
Blue, and nearly warm,
When horses switch their tails and ducks
Go quacking through the farm.

When all the world turns round to feel
The sun upon its back--
When winter lifts a little bit
And spring peeks through the crack!


Circle of Days said...

I've been doing enough worrying about the unseasonal temperatures for both of us, so you can keep on relishing the many hints of spring! I started getting nervous back in December, when the magnolia bushes began to bud. The temps have remained just cool enough to keep them from opening all the way, though the predicted 50+ degree weather this week may push them into blossoming.

Jennie Smith-Pariola said...

Thanks, Circle of Days. I know what you mean. It's worrisome. Several shrubs around our house are already blooming. Yikes.