Sunday, March 21, 2010
The older I get, the more I appreciate our Midwest with its four distinct seasons of the year. Maybe that is because I was born and raised here. I can’t really say that I enjoy winter, but I think I would miss it. I am sure I appreciate spring all the more because of it. We often hear that anticipation is at least half the joy of anything. I’m sure that a lot of us begin anticipating spring when the snowdrifts are still “hip-high to a tall…person” (Shucks, there goes another of my favorite old sayings that my politically correct friends won’t let me use anymore).
I do occasionally run into folks who don’t exactly look forward to the seasonal changes. A few just don’t care much for change. And then there are some that are pessimists who aren’t really pleased with anything. While complaining about the cold, snow, ice, wind-chill factor, and frosty forecasts, they don’t like to be interrupted by someone telling about a newly developed variety of seed potatoes he or she is going to order from that colorful seed catalog that came in the mail yesterday.
Believe it or not, such people really don’t look forward to spring. There is all that unsettled weather to look forward to, weeks of mud to contend with, followed by days of hard work raking and cleaning up the winter’s supply of fallen tree branches and trash and gravel from the lawn. And indoors, how will they ever find time to get all their spring-cleaning done? Then there will be all of that never-ending work in garden. And spring gives them nothing to look forward to but all of that lawn mowing and other hard work and, worst of all, the intolerable heat that summer will surely bring.
And that hot season will give them nothing to look forward to but fall. How could anyone enjoy a busy time of year like that? All of those dry, fallen leaves from the neighbors’ trees that the wind will deposit on their lawns will have to be raked up and burned, or bagged up and carted off. The garden has to be “put to bed” for winter. And then there is fall housecleaning. And soon there will be the cold and the deep snow, the icy, slippery, dangerous roads, and the huge fuel bills.
And when winter is finally finished, along comes that busy, messy, muddy season we call “spring.”
A few drab and shabby snowdrifts
Still insist on hanging ‘round,
But if we’re quiet, and listen,
From the woodland comes the sound
Of the spring’s very first robin;
We stop just to hear it sing,
As it does its level best to
Turn our winter into spring.
As that season rounds the corner
Judging by these signs we’ve seen,
Soon the lawns and pastures will all
Turn from dull, drab brown to green.
Trees and shrubs will all be leafed out
In their lacey finery
As they do their best to please and
To thrill folks like you and me.
We can see the buds now swelling
On the maple’s branches high,
Praying for warm springtime sunshine
As they brush against the sky.
Waves of snow-white and pink flowers
On apple and wild plum trees
Will fill mild air with fragrance to
Awake winter-weary bees.
The brook’s music will assure us
That, once again, spring has sprung,
Nests and dens of many creatures
Will be homes for brand-new young.
In farm fields, the newly plowed ground
Will echo the tractor’s roar.
Awaiting the new birth and growth
This great season has in store.
As we look around, we can’t help
But feel we’ve been truly blessed:
All these wonders of creation
Displayed at their very best.