Serenade of Spring

A lazy lizard warms itself on a warm spring day on rocks in the Redlands.

A bird sits in a tree on East Orchard Mesa.

Peach trees bloom on East Orchard Mesa with Mount Garfield as a backdrop.

A closeup of a peach blossom.

A bee lands on a blossom on a fruit tree in Fruitvale.The tree was alive with hundreds of bees hard at work.

Spring arrives like a cirrus cloud, ethereal and quiet, gliding in with the subtlety of a whisper.

It was cold, then not-as-cold, and for a while it seemed that the needle was stuck on a scratch in the 45: not-as-cold, not-as-cold, not-as-cold, not-as-c…

But still not warm.

Just stale and cobwebby, a limp rag draped over the first weeks of March, seeping heaviness and lethargy. Breathe in, breathe out, air that feels like it was sealed in a tomb since the Shang Dynasty.

Maybe spring will never come: a thought for moments of supreme resignation.

It’s easy to miss the gentle turning, a degree at a time, the slow evolution from winter white to dappled yellow. Brave little shoots of newborn green poke through the hardened soil, easy to overlook in the daily dither over what to wear: a parka’s too much, a charming little cardigan’s not enough.

The sky does seem bluer, though, and the sun glints a little more bright. Plus, it smells different. Breezy. Is breezy a scent?

And then, in the midst of sensory nuance ... wait a minute. Step outside, extend a tentative fingertip, feel the velvety tickle of warm, unquestionably spring.

Open all the windows! Yes! As far as they’ll go. Toss back the curtains and declare freedom. Let the spring-gentled sunshine splash in daring golden puddles onto sofa and tile, let the winsome breeze dance inside and twirl in frivolous circles through the kitchen, cavorting through the family room and pirouetting down the hall.

William Wordsworth never came to Colorado, but he knew:

“Oh there is blessing in this gentle breeze,

A visitant that while it fans my cheek

Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings

From the green fields, and from yon azure sky.

Whate’er its mission, the soft breeze can come

To none more grateful than to me…

The earth is all before me. With a heart

Joyous, nor scared at its own liberty,

I look about; and should the chosen guide

Be nothing better than a wandering cloud,

I cannot miss my way. I breathe again!”

How appropriate that April is National Poetry Month, because it seems that writing a poem is the only thing to do amid the abandon of blossoms in pink, white and yellow.

Petals flutter like butterfly wings, and even D.H. Lawrence was overcome:

“This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among

This leaping combustion of spring?”

But of course, amidst all the rhapsody, the space between toes No. 1 and No. 2 must be considered. It is pasty and winter-tender, but the flip-flop gets shoved in there anyway because this is not time for the coddling wussiness of socks and shoes. It’s spring outside!

A pedicure? Why yes, thanks. In Easter egg shades of blue and green and orange. A bowl full of strawberries? Yes, please. Asparagus cooked on the newly cleaned, newly fired-up grill? Dinner’s at 6.

And the pansies. Walking into the store becomes an exercise in longing and desire because shelves outside the doors are lined with pots of blooming pansies, their sweet little purple faces coaxing grins and making fingers itchy for shovels and fertilizer and mulch.

Everything is growing. Everything!

Breathing never felt so good, the sky never spread so blue, the ridiculous white puffs of clouds never chased each other with such giddy delight.

It feels good to be alive in this reckless explosion of spring.


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