Waiting and Wishing for Spring
In upstate New York we’ve been in the grips of a deep freeze for about two weeks now and it just doesn’t want to let up. We’re fortunate here in the Finger Lakes that we don’t get that west wind off Lake Ontario and all the lake effect snow like they do in Oswego County. There’s been over 100 inches there in just over a week. But it’s cold. In the twenties today so somewhat of a warming trend, but will be back below zero on Tuesday night, so we’re not out of the woods. Our wood pile is getting low and will likely be exhausted in a week or two if I don’t call for another delivery.
My daughter is in Quebec this weekend for winter carnival with the French Club. The high there today is -10 degrees Celsius (about 14 F). She required a major wardrobe upgrade for winter attire before she left. She’s the kind of kid who wears flip-flops when it’s 20 degrees outside.
There was a blood drive in my town yesterday and I went to give blood as I usually do every eight weeks. And they told me my next eligible date is April 7th. I went to put that on the calendar this morning and realized that I’ll be in Florida by then, and Spring will be here. That’s only eight weeks away, 56 days. I can handle that. My wife’s amaryllis is blooming in the living room window. A beautiful trio of blossoms that remind us that this regeneration of life that comes with Spring is not far away.
The first color of Spring to show here, as in many areas, is the forsythia. I grew up in the South where my mother called it yellow bell. Banks of golden yellow against the drab gray left behind by the winter. A splendid feeling of warmth after months of chill.
And the bulbs come up. First the snow drops and crocuses, then the daffodils and the tulips.
The trees begin to leaf out and blossom. First the willows, that always seem to be the first to get their leaves and the last to shed them. The cherry blossoms and tulip magnolias and other flowering ornamentals. The colors so absent for months, now showering down around us with every warm breeze.
Then the maples leaf out and suddenly the woods are awash with that spring green that is unlike any other. There is almost as much color as in the fall, but in reverse, bursting with chlorophyll.
The gray and barren landscape littered with remnants of melted snow and sanded roads, wind-blown branches and leaves that seem so depressing in March, become transformed as the grass is revived and the trees bloom and the earth is renewed with life. A season of hope, of Nature’s promise. A time to breath a sigh and smell the air and shed the burden of winter.
I long for Spring this time of year. With every blast of cold wind I must remind myself, 56 more days. I can deal with that. In 56 days I’ll be walking the warm beach. In 56 days I’ll smell the jasmine and be ducking my head under the wisteria arbor. In 56 days I will have weathered another season of snow and ice and be on the other side, loving the rebirth of the planet, the red buds of the Shenandoah Valley, the dogwoods of Virginia and Tennessee, the warm sun and sand of the gulf coast.
Only 56 more days. I can handle that.