Spring has Sprung
"Spring is sprung, the grass has riz
I wonder where the birdies iz…"
Every year around this time, my dad would chant this little ditty. I can't remember exactly what would prompt it, but surely spring bursting forth was involved. For some reason, the verse is running through my mind quite frequently this year.
Spring is here, right on time, and so very welcome. Winters can be cold here in the Cévennes, with temperatures hovering around freezing most nights and many days. We seldom get snow that sticks (and when we do, it is rare enough to cause celebration as well as cause everything to shut down!) But no matter the temperature, I'm brightened by the brilliant blue skies most winter days. It may be chilly, but the shining sun definitely lifts the spirit.
While our winters don't last long and are not harsh by most standards, spring brings a wave of relief. Fewer layers of clothing, heaters turned down, and windows opened wide, welcoming in the newly freshened air. We venture to eat lunch outside, and various people in our community can be found stretched out around the property on large rocks like lizards, absorbing warmth and sunshine. Contentment radiates in return.
Lovely scents wafting on gentle breezes are one of the best parts of this season. New grasses, budding trees, and blossoming flowers mix into a fragrance that includes undertones of freshly warmed earth and wet stones. Breathing deeply, I want to soak it all in.
Growth happens before our eyes. Even in the space of a day, changes occur. Sprouting buds transform into flowers, which seem to multiply as we watch. Beauty bursting forth never grows old!
Oh, and did I mention the butterflies? They're back and flitting and fluttering with joy. We have a particular golden-yellow variety, with orange tinges at the edge of the wings. It's not easy to capture a photo at the right moment–but my husband did manage to catch this one!
Happy birds tweet and chirp as they flit from bush to tree or hop around on the freshly mowed grass, searching for tasty treats. Bees hum and drone tentatively, checking out the newborn flowers. And the colors, so welcome after the stark beauty of winter. Pinks, golds, and whites contrast with the bright green of spring. Brilliant oranges and purples provide delightful pops of color. Sights, scents, sounds blend into a heavenly elixir, meant to be taken in slowly, deeply.
The unique beauty of each season carries a message. In all the unfolding glory of spring, we revel in life, especially new life. After winter barrenness, sprouting branches bring delight, as if it never happened before. The trees break forth in blossom every year, yet each time it's new.
The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from death to life echos in this rebirth painted across nature. As buds sprout and blossom, our souls rise in hope. The beauty of creation imparts the message of where true life can be found. By letting go, and trusting the master creator with the seasons in our lives, we know that we too can rise from loss and death. Because Jesus lives, with him, we spring into hope.
Robert Frost's A Prayer in Spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid-air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.