Spring into Summer.
I’ve always enjoyed the way that phrase sounds as it slips though the teeth creating a soothing ‘sss’ sound. More than the sound, I enjoy the images of cold, dirty snow being transformed into a plethora of color.
Spring, as marked by the Vernal Equinox, began on March 20. Of course, this year Mother Nature ignored the path of the planet to the sun and just kept dumping snow on us. Even though the planet was in alignment to bring increasing daylight, Mother Nature covered the earth with snow keeping temperatures down and slowing the rebirth of flora and fauna.
Even so, the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touch of spring are beginning to emerge. These are the signs that herald the arrival of spring for me.
The sight of spring: the first sight of the green stem of a crocus poking its way through a stubborn patch of snow. When I lived in Iowa I walked out of the front door of my house and caught the sight of a cluster of green poking through a patch of snow. I walked over to it and looked carefully. I had never seen a green plant growing up through snow. Within a couple of days, the snow had melted and a host of crocuses was blooming in the front yard. Dazzling.
The sound of spring: Birds chirping. I love to sit on my deck on the first warm days of spring. One day I was sitting on the deck when several goldfinches found the thistle feeder. I always smile when the bright yellow birds accept my hospitality at the feeder. That day, I heard a song. It was loud and clear. I looked up in the trees to see if I could see a larger bird calling. Then I focused on a tiny goldfinch. A high pitched canary-like song was emanating from the goldfinch. The beak remained closed; the only movement was the puffing out of the throat.
The taste of spring: Living in Granite Falls there is only one taste that is memorable; the taste of fresh popped corn from the popcorn stand on Prentice Street. When my daughter Jenny was little, it was a tradition to head down to the popcorn stand for that first bag of warm, buttered popcorn. When I worked at the downtown newspaper office, I would take a break on Tuesday night and walk to the corner, not just for a taste of popcorn but also for a visit with folks gathered there.
The touch of spring: Potting soil. Each spring I still pot my own petunias. I sit in a lawn chair, behind the house. I have a large bag of potting soil next to my chair, two or three good size pots, and a tray of petunias. Putting on my garden gloves I use a garden trowel, fill the pots with soil, and then incorporate the petunias into the pot. Every year I tell myself, “Remember to keep your garden gloves on.” Every year I strip them off and end up reaching into the bag with my bare hands to fill the pots and plant the flowers. I can’t help myself; I have to let the soil flow through my fingers at least once.
Page 2 of 2 - The smell of spring: Fresh cut grass. Need I say more?
Mother Nature did her best to hold back spring this year, but we can enjoy the sights, sounds, taste, smells and touch of spring right up to the Summer Solstice on June 21.