As you all know, I am not a fan of Spring. Yes, it’s a lovely season of rebirth and the world waking up from the long winter and the little woodland creatures coming out to cavort and dance in the meadows and birds singing happily at the very first break of day and all that stuff. But, for me, it’s the season of pollen, swollen eyes, painfully stopped-up sinuses, and sneezing. Just as a little refresher … in case anyone forgot … my feelings about Spring run along the lines of:
The one thing I love about Spring, in spite of the allergy pain it will cause me, is seeing the cherry trees in bloom. I like birdsong, too, but nothing lifts my spirits more than cherry blossoms. The trees fill up with buds when the days are still short and the skies are still gray and cold. Every day, it feels like we all watch and wait, almost like the whole world is holding its breath. Will today be the day? Or maybe tomorrow? Perhaps, I might see a teeny, lone bloom here or there, which only serves to whet my appetite and make me even more anxious for the “big show” to come.
I think waiting is the hardest part. In many ways, it feels like waiting for Christmas when I was a kid. There is that feeling of longing, of knowing you will be witness to something more incredible than you can imagine or describe, but, also, the feeling that all the magic and wonder might never arrive. Once I’ve almost given up hope of it ever happening … BOOM! It seems that, overnight, the trees burst into bloom, and I walk out of my house into a fantasy wonderland come to life.
Just when I had given up hope, resigned to existing in the gray tones of winter, the magic happens. No matter how many times I see it, it always amazes me. I don’t remember seeing many blooming trees during my childhood. I guess the climate was too harsh for them, or, maybe, the soil was too poor. Maybe that is why this aspect of Spring enchants me the way it does. It seems that, everywhere I look — along every hiking trail, bike path, side road, highway, and by-way — there are trees full of delicate, beautiful blooms. Mounds and mounds and mounds of them.
They stretch out and turn their faces toward the sun, as if reaching out to grab every bit of warmth and love possible. As I walk among them, hearing the swish of fallen blooms under my feet on the sidewalk or path, I feel my own spirit begin to awaken from its long winter’s sleep. The gray of short days and cold, dark nights seems to melt away, just a little. And I feel warmer, a little happier, and maybe even a bit more hopeful. I have survived another winter. Sometimes, that is enough.
Almost as soon as they arrive, the petals begin to fall. They drift slowly down to earth, twirling in the wind — graceful, delicate, and beautiful to the very end. I watch them, and I smile as I am reminded that life is beautiful but short. It’s good for us to stretch out our arms and grab all the light we can, while we’re here.