I See Spring Out There

 

Just a week or so ago, the trees were bare, bare, bare. You couldn’t tell a dead tree from a living tree. You couldn’t tell which one was going to burst its buds with the arrival of the right conditions or which ones were going to abide as they stood, no change at all. Branches stood in their skeletal nudity with no hint of any kind of tissue.

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All the grasses were brown; dull brown, boring brown, deep brown, shallow brown . . . and some stale yellows, some ulcerated yellows, some faded orange, some dusty greys . . . lifeless, inert, tasteless.

The snow was clearly gone, but its presence remained like the musty smell of a fire that’s been extinguished with water but still smolders as it fades into its death.

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The wildlife seemed infected with lethargy. At best, the birds reluctantly forced themselves to get out of their winter hiding places to find food. Squirrels were unwrapping themselves from their winter doldrums, but with no enthusiasm, no thrill. Deer moved around the forests, their furs greyed from the winter, their stomachs tired of picking at the tough, bitter twigs that masqueraded as nutritional food. Any reptilian creature is still slogged down into its wintery world, hardly even aware that stirring will soon be an option to them. They are so deep in their winter cycle that they don’t even remember ever having been able to move.

And then . . .

The sun, no longer forced to hang low by the leaden weight of winter, gains altitude with each day. It reaches an angle beginning at dawn that allows it to shower its rays more effectively into the atmosphere and the chilled soil. Its warmth takes hold quicker and last longer now with each passing day.

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In the filaments of their thinnest edges, the trees and the grasses take note of the change. The filaments pass on the news to the width and breadth of every branch and sprig and blade . . . the news that it is time once again to begin the cycle of new growth.

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The creatures . . . on the ground, in the air, in the muck of it all, use the rays as fuel to shake off the last of winter’s shiver. Wings flutter with more purpose, tails perk up, noses point in the air, ears tweak in alertness.

All of nature reacts to the change: the smallest insect, the tiniest sprig of moss, the lowest grass, the tallest tree.

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The world awakens as if it were one organism, rising from beneath winter’s cover to greet another season of bearing fruit, of bearing young, of maturing, of growing.

And we humans, we sentient beings at the top of the food chain who think we know it all, sometimes forget to join in.

Perhaps as you sit there in the comfort of your home, you should take a breath, look out the window, and give some thought to the amazing creation that we have out there, and maybe even drop a word of thanks to God for all of it.

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