Spring cleaning

After a long winter, even for Kentucky, it feels good to awake to early eastern skies of long-fingered pink, harbinger of Spring’s seductive balms of  radiant, yet gentle warmth, arousing the earth to new dress in verdant green,  With nature’s facelift, browns and grays transmute into daffodil and tulip riot.  My mind swirls excitedly as I anticipate grabbing a shovel, turning the yielding earth over, planting  azaleas and rhododendrons, restoring pathways, adding mulch, pruning roses. I leap out of bed.

I wonder how many poems have been written about spring.  Here’s a passage from a child’s poem that, simple as it is, resonates spring’s melancholic capacity to remind us of its temporal nature like all things in life and, by extension, our need to live in the Now.

    “If spring lasted forever
    I’d never have to say good-bye
    to when summer ended
    or when the fall leaves died.”

                             (James Meaney)

Yet despite the temporal nature of the seasons, the arrival of   spring reassures us of  a permanence amidst  change or as   Hal Borland reminds us:  “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”  It’s one of the few assurances we have in life.

I think I like spring best for its ability to suggest we can redeem what’s been lost or made a mess of through cosmic caprice or our finite limitations.  In this way, it represents the end of winter’s hiatus and rebirth of  resolve to do better.  While the traditional New Year on January 1 is  synonymous with resolutions,  ancient calendars often began the new year with the coming of spring, or season of rebirth.  This makes sense to me.  This archetypal notion of spring as an opportunity for a fresh start is embedded in our own language when we speak of “spring cleaning,”  an undeclared domestic rite when we often toss relics of the past.

I Iike that kind of spring cleaningI

Author: RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.

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