After a cold, dark winter of gray-brown dormancy, the earth barely breathing, waiting faithfully for renewal and warmth that certainly must come, spring starts slowly; then quickly, it becomes a rushing torrent of life. Brought on by moisture and warmth, the wild exuberance of shoots pushing out from beneath leaf mold, unfolding leaves and birdsong, it is the hallelujah chorus of spring.
I find the coming of spring such a joyous time for the soul. It is rebirth after death, redemption after a trial that has pulled energy from one’s core.
On a day like today, dry and sunny, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature in the low 70s, life seems just about perfect. I walk at least a foot off the ground, treading on air.
And speaking of air, it is so fresh, smelling of earth and newly formed oxygen flowing from the vivid green grass and millions of tiny green leaves that are expanding throughout the land. My lawn is a mass of purple and white violets, dotted with golden dandelion suns and naturalized narcissi. Gil-over-the-ground, ajuga, and wild veronica are budded up and starting to bloom in shades of blue-violet. Sprigs of June aster are forming, to come along in the next few weeks.
The gardens are masses of frothy candytuft, daffodils, diminutive iris, bleeding hearts and primroses. Fothergilla has started to bloom and is covered with tiny, native pollinators and the Korean spicebush viburnum perfumes the yard with its exotic fragrance. The lilac flower buds are swelling, as are the rhododendron, beauty soon to come.
The hummingbird has returned and visits the quince, spicebush and bleeding hearts. Chipping sparrows are making a nest in the quince and I watch one pecking at ants along the sidewalk. Catbirds, as well as a pair of cardinals, are nesting in the hemlock hedge and eastern phoebes have set up housekeeping in the wood shed.
In the woods, hairy woodpeckers drum on dead wood, telegraphing their territory throughout the forest. Ovenbirds, titmice and chestnut-sided warblers call to establish the same end. We still have a bird feeder strung high in an oak tree, which brings in chickadees and a multitude of goldfinches, whose mewling calls fill the air.
Cardinals and mourning doves flutter in to feed on the ground below the feeder, while the male doves persistently coo in the branches above. Any perceived danger is escaped with an explosion of wings.
I take it all in as I move about the yard, gardening, hanging laundry or sitting on the deck. I feel grateful to witness this exuberance of life that living in the country affords, such a blessing it is.