Randi Kreiss

A whisper of light and life amid the dross

Posted

And not a moment too soon. Did you hear it land on our doorsteps? Monday, at 6:29 a.m., spring actually sprang into our lives. No matter the temperature, no matter the down coats in the front closet; officially, it is spring, and no one can take that away.

True, two weeks ago we were blasted by ice, snow and freezing rain, but the vernal equinox does not equivocate. When the sun takes its place over the equator, it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is all memory; summer is just over the horizon.

Only the cold-hearted fail to find some joy in the first daffodils and sweet narcissus. The heart, slowed and steadied by hours and days in sedentary hibernation, dances to a livelier beat. We have survived, and only sunny days lie ahead. At least that’s what the poets say.

Have you seen the signs of spring? According to the Farmer’s Almanac, worms begin to emerge from the ground. Indeed, the March moon is called the Full Worm Moon.

Birds are migrating northward, along with the path of the sun. And did you know increasing sunlight inspires bird song? (It sure beats the drip of icicles off the roof.)

Of course, trees, shrubs and flowers are reactive to temperature, and sunlight as well. According to the Almanac, since ancient times people have used flora as indicators of when the time is right to plant. For example, when the crocus blooms, that’s the cue to plant radishes, parsnips and spinach.

The agonizing turn from hard winter to early spring feels elemental to me, and embeds me with nature. You don’t have to live on a farm to study the Farmer’s Almanac and appreciate the old-time folk tales and wisdom. Did you know, for example, that you can balance an egg on its end during the vernal equinox? It’s true. You can balance it on other days as well, but it makes a good story.

Many of us are suffering serious winter fatigue, or worse. Too many older residents in our communities have been shut in all winter, hindered by the cold and worried about falling on the ice. People have been afraid to drive. For several weeks, in the midst of successive snowstorms, cabin fever went viral.

One can admire the pristine mornings and snow-laden trees for just so long. Cravings for carbs have driven our meal choices. Our skin is pasty, our muscles like jello. I have faith that any day now the mercury will rise above 65 and the sun will dry out the soggy flower beds where my spring flowers are trying to set roots. The season may not have turned yet, but we have reason to hope, and I will dare to predict a balmy end to April.

As always, the poets and philosophers say it best.

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.

— Christopher Morley

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so.

— Mark Twain

Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush.

— Doug Larsen

People ask me what I do in winter when there is no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.

— Rogers Hornsby

The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other.

— Arthur Rubenstein

You can’t see Canada across Lake Erie, but you know it’s there. It’s the same with spring. You have to have faith, especially in Cleveland.

— Paul Fleischman

The first day of spring was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for nature to follow. Now we just set the clocks an hour ahead and change the oil in the crankcase.

— E. B. White

If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.

— Terri Guillemet

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

— Charles Dickens

Copyright © 2017 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.