Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Have you ever stopped to think about how the transition of the seasons differs from one season to the next?  It seems there is barely a transition from spring to summer these days.   We go from frigid cold to a handful of  warm days and then almost without warning we find ourselves in the grips of hot summer days.   Then we enjoy summer - briefly until we begin to complain about the heat and humidity.  We enjoy backyard barbeques, long weekends away, swimming (if weather permits, some summers more cooperative than others), and in a blink it seems it's Labor Day weekend marking the end of summer and beginning of fall.  For most of us, fall arrives with the flip of a page on our calendar or with the sight of our kids' school bus on the first day of school.  Fall is a season that lasts a while....we enjoy cooler temperatures, the vibrant color of autumn leaves and then the endless task of cleaning up those leaves, now dry and crisp as they effortlessly cover every part of our lawns and entries and driveways.  And one day, sometimes before that task is done, snow arrives and we have crossed the threshold into winter.  Unless you happen to enjoy winter sports, this seems to be the "dreaded" season, the longest season, the one that brings us to our knees begging for it to end.  This was especially true this winter.  

And then it day the birds begin to sing more loudly.  The sound of red-winged blackbirds and returning Canadian geese can be heard overhead.  The snow cover begins to disappear and is replaced with soft, brown muck!  Ahhh.....but who can complain....for that is a sign of reprieve, reprieve from the long and difficult winter.  I love spring.  Although fall is perhaps my favorite season, spring represents life.  It represents a fresh start.  I find it invigorating to one day notice the new buds on the trees, and watch them swell and develop from one day to the next, until one day a fully developed cluster of leaves appear.

I enjoy watching my forsythia as it transforms from a bush of twigs into a vibrant yellow, ablaze from the warm glow of the sun.

 The area behind our property is "forever wild".  It borders the Dwaaskill Creek (which has become more of a lake than a creek, thanks to some busy beavers).  The dampness of the terrain and the shade from ancient trees makes for the perfect dwelling for ferns and skunk cabbage.   As nasty as those sound, I have to admit, they are perhaps my favorite sign of spring.  One day I'll look out and see little nubs rising from a blanket of decaying leaves and debris and each new day I watch in amazement as these little nubs get taller and greener until suddenly, in just a few days, the once brown, dead landscape is covered in vibrant green.

And in a blink of an eye.....we go from this,

to this!

After months of cold, frigid winter, suddenly from the depths of the earth emerges the promise of new life.  The reassurance of hope, the chance at new beginnings.  Our surroundings change from barren, lifeless vegetation and frozen earth to lush greens and colorful blossoms.  Just when we think we can't bear another day of the Arctic and never ending winter, spring emerges from its hiding and renews our faith and restores our promise that life is not is renewing. 

And though it seems that almost overnight we make the transition from snowy white to muddy brown to vibrant green, the truth is........ spring emerges in its own time.  From one specie to the next, it rises from its hibernation to reveal itself and its beauty.  Then, after a long cold winter just when we feel hopeless that we can endure another day, our view brightens and we are surrounded by green - green grass, green leaves and even green skunk cabbage.  That is followed by the most beautiful array of color in forsythia, dogwood, cherry blossoms, crab apples, magnolias.  We are rewarded for enduring our lifeless and harsh winter by the warmth of the sun and the treasures of the earth.   Beauty is in abundance and we are renewed once again.

So as we enjoy our journey through spring's unhurried arrival, consider this.  Perhaps spring is not just a chance for renewal and fresh starts in our yards.  Perhaps it is a good time for fresh starts and renewed relationships.  Maybe it's a good time for new ventures, new interests, new beginnings.  Perhaps it's time to forget the unattractive seasons of our lives and embrace the chance for new and bright beginnings.  Maybe its time we let spring renew US and embrace what's been dormant!    Spring isn't just in your yard, or your local park, or nature preserves, and it is in YOU!  What great things are going to spring up in you??

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