Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pillow my daughter made for me years ago...great sign!

"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!"
That was part of the refrain of a protest song of the 1970s, "Signs."

Today I'm not protesting the arrival of the Vernal Equinox, which is 'way too formal for the season we welcome as Spring!

But there are certainly signs . . . everywhere you look.

Daffodils pushing through leaves

For several days I've noticed more birds in our neighborhood. They're singing, chattering, calling . . . each according to its nature. Of course we've had birds all winter long--bluejays, cardinals, robins (who do not migrate south in winter, something I never knew until a few years ago), and the smaller birds, some of whom are rather timid except when the feeders are full and yummy seeds fall while other birds feed. Until the recent dawn choruses, I hadn't realized how much I missed birdsong. I recognize only a few. I've never kept a life list of birds observed. But they are such a part of  my daily scene that when they're gone, it's obvious something is missing. Their music completes the story.

Blatant signs include the disappearance of snow banks, some of them seeming to go down by inches as we watch. Underneath--grass! Truly! Grass--green, brown, muddied up by snowplows and snow throwers--but grass, nevertheless. The grassy areas expand daily, and Joy and I can now walk around the house with only one or two places where we must cross snow to get to the snow-less patches.

Joy's big thrill is being able to sniff out whatever it is that tickles her fancy, and has been covered up for so long. Some days I get almost nothing done because she wants to go out--again!--after all, the sun is out, and there's grass out there to be explored. She knows I don't understand, and she's very tolerant of my ignorance. But she is insistent.

Surprise Lilies coming up
More subtle signs occur in the new shoots of lilies and daffodils that emerge from under last year's layer of mulching leaves. Yellow-green on top, growing deeper green down into the ground. My neighbor Dixie has daffodils on the south side of her house; the sun gets trapped there between the houses and those bulbs send up shoots long before the rest of us see the tiny tips. Today hers are six inches tall--they're always the first ones to bloom. Truly a sign that Spring has arrived.

Although Spring is not my favorite season, I'm always more than ready for its return. More than any other season, Spring seems to remind us that our world is indeed orderly. We may not get the season we want on a certain day, but it will come. And its companions will follow in their own time.

Haven't seen this much ground since before December!

Amazing to me, the absolute determination of those bulbs to push through the ground; tree buds to appear on branches; grass to grow in spite of snow, rain, sleet.

All those signs make me realize: More than hope appears with the return of Spring--I call it affirmation. Affirmation of new life--animals, birds, plants--reminding us that in spite of our selves, the earth renews and we are the beneficiaries of that abundance and beauty.

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