Just a few short weeks ago, spring had not yet fully sprung here in our valley, though she was hunched down on her haunches, anxious to leap into full splendor. Sure, snowdrops and crocuses had shown up earlier, but they were more of a last gorgeous gasp of winter; a welcome, but still chilly sign of things to come.
Then what had been muted greens of grasses, one day seem to have brightened and sharpened their contrast with the earth tone colors of trees and the leaves they had let go in the fall.
But when daffodils start to pop up, one cannot help but think spring’s arrival may be shortly upon us, as they rapidly display large clusters of gentle whites, vibrant yellows even occasional soft oranges.
Not to be outdone, forsythias then take their turn to show off their own shades of yellow and one cannot help but notice since they paint themselves on larger canvasses than the daffodils. Continuing the sequential natural order, quinces next completely change the color scheme with dazzling reds and pinks from the other side of nature’s pallet.
The misnamed redbuds then show their hints of deep purple buds that transform to the brighter fuchsia flowers soon to decorate yards, roadsides and creek runs. While inspecting these buds, the wind kicks up and I am sprinkled upon by petals of a white dogwood’s flowers, whose high blossoms I had missed by looking too closely at just eye level.
Ah, but down by the river, it is unquestionable. The bluebells truly ring the season with their broad green leaves and pink buds that then evolve to countless baby blue and lavender flowers. They will carpet the ground in large patches along the river between the sycamore, tulip poplar and black walnut trees.
Indeed, spring, this wonder of a season, is here. I could not tell you the exact moment it arrived, but rather felt and saw its slow transition occur, bringing its annual rebirth to this small part of our Earth.
About a year ago, our human species, a part of the animal kingdom, became embattled in a monumental struggle with the minutest of pathogens. Our natural order was disrupted and endangered and many members of our species have since succumbed. The plant kingdom and its many species have always had their own struggles with survival, but they continue to rigorously play their part in the emergence of each day and each day after that as the Earth spins and unfolds its most life-affirming season of our shared natural cycle of life on this planet.
While we necessarily stay apart from those within our own species for a while more, perhaps venturing outdoors to become more intimate with our indigenous plant species would be a fruitful endeavor. Confronted by their astonishing elegance, beauty and resilience, we may find some comfort from those attributes, but may also gain some insights from their ceaseless perseverance through whatever transpires.