In my infatuation with autumn, I’d forgotten my old love: Spring. I was so into Fall colors that I left Spring in the dirt. (Pardon my capitalizing the seasons. I just can’t help it. I start thinking of things like “I get a spring in my step when it’s spring” or “I can fall when I slip on fall leaves” and I end up capitalizing Spring and Fall because it just seems right to me.)
I do love autumn: the cooler days after a long, hot summer. I love the brilliance of the leaves and the signs that although the days are shorter, we’re getting ready for cozy evenings at home.
(You’ll notice no mention of football in my Fall loves. I know this is heresy, but football is not high on my list of priorities. Sorry.)
But this Spring has been different. Perhaps it’s because of the rainy days of winter, but I don’t think so. By slowing my life down, I’ve been more aware of what’s happening in the moment. (It’s been quality versus quantity.) Along the way, I’ve remembered how much I love the awakening of nature around me. It has been a pleasure.
It started in my own backyard. I watched as the trees began to leaf out.
By the way, here’s that same tree last Fall.
Then I began to see Spring wildflowers peek up their heads.
I’m fortunate to walk most days so it wasn’t difficult to see the progress of renewal in the season. I was in awe of the colors of the flowers and plants. Being cognizant that theirs’ was a short season, I knew I had to focus on their beauty or I’d miss it. They’d be gone soon and only a memory.
In other neighborhoods, I saw fruit trees put out their blossoms.
When I walked by the lake in early Spring, I watched the geese follow their mating rituals.
and then, later, how they raised their young.
In late April, I went to Seattle to visit and was treated to a cornucopia of visual Spring delights. I think I drove my daughter crazy because I had to stop every few minutes to click another shot. But I just couldn’t get over the special beauty of the season.
Every tree and plant was bursting with new life:
Fruit trees were decked out in their finery.
Bluebells flocked to greet me in the woods.
Back in California, I continued on my Spring Quest, aware of quickly the season was passing.
“It’s the middle of May,” I said to my daughter one day.
“Mom, it’s only May 11. Don’t push us ahead,” she said.
“I’m not, but you know, in a moment it will be Memorial Day.”
And it was.
The swans have had their babies now.
The irises are still blooming but are losing a little of their freshness.
Time continues to march on even if we don’t want it to.
All Spring as I walked outside, I kept hearing the phrase, Hope Springs Eternal, in my head. Even when we and our family and friends were having health issues, I saw with my own eyes that nature’s message was one of hope and renewal. Maybe everyone could get well–we shouldn’t give up hope.
But Spring also personifies the impermanence of life; its ephemeral qualities. Nothing is permanent and I should know that by now. I need to cherish what I have now–not look back, not look forward. My autumn years may be waning, but I’m not into winter yet. And I’m going to enjoy the last days of Spring without bemoaning how fleeting it was.
My plan is to gorge on peonies while they’re still is season. Short as it is.