Wednesday, March 20, 2013
First Day of Spring, sure
We're a long way from mud-luscious, somehow weeks from puddle-wonderful. Yesterday, the temps edged just a degree or two above freezing, but the sun was a proud and royal bridegroom; and even though it was way too cold to be Spring's Eve, the promise seemed to be there anyway. It was coming. There was no wind, the sky was pure, and you could almost say that drab winter was doing its most beloved disappearing act. Sure, yards were still swept with snow. Sure, here and there aged drifts still litter the place like dead sheep, as my friend Jim Heynen says; but with a big bright eye of heaven up above, it seemed--it really did--as if the sap might just be a'running soon.
This morning, First Day of Spring, we're locked up in January's fist, as if February was only illusion. The breezeway between rooms in this old house is a icy reminder that, outside, there's probably no running water anywhere to be found on the Floyd, and our winter visitors, those clumsy Canadian honkers, are utterly stymied. Good night, they'll likely go back south, cussing out that lead bird for picking up that blankety-blank GPS at Wal-Mart instead of investing in something reliable.
Last year--I could look it up, I'm sure--we got cheated in the opposite direction. On the first days of spring the temps reached skyward--80 degrees, in fact--and talked almost every living thing into bursting forth into summer greens. Last year the fruit trees donned their finest blossomy gossamer waaaaaaaaaay early, then lost every last petal when a winter blitzkrieg stormed in, as it can, like a biblical plague. We had a gorgeous March, but we paid for it in apples--we had none. Our ash trees had to regenerate leaves, start over when the buds, the first fruits, froze dead.
Doesn't help to say it either, to see it written somewhere--that it's the First Day of Spring. Doesn't help at all. Just makes me owly, growly. Cold weather, winter weather, is going to last all week, according to the weatherman--all frickin' week. Who'd want that job anyway? Harbinger of horror.
I'm mad. It's not supposed to be this way. "Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world," someone once wrote. I'm okay with that, if He'd only do it. Did he fall asleep at the wheel? Would someone please remind the Creator of Heaven and Earth that the calender, ours, says it's the First Day of Spring.
I already packed away the long johns. I thought I'd lit the fireplace for the last time, and I'm just about out of wood. I've seen robins. The river actually broke up last week. What are we waiting for? It isn't right. This morning, it's way, way, waaaaaaaaaaaaay too cold.
Or how about this: "deep roots never doubt that spring will come." Well, pardon me for living. Call me shallow then, go ahead. Make me an unbeliever. Think of me as some kind of cheap, noxious weed.
Just warm the place up a bit and I swear I'll believe. I swear.
Forgive me, Lord. I'm a sinner. But promise me you'll hear my prayer. Make it warm.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:26 AM