“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” ~Henry Van Dyke
In the Northern hemisphere the first day of spring 2015 is today, March 20, at 6:45 pm. Today, when the sun crosses the equator from south to north, the Earth will face perpendicular to the Sun’s rays and spring will officially begin. At least according to the calendar.
Signs of spring have been peeping up since the last snow started to melt. Cardinals and big, fat Robins have been flitting around in my yard. Flashes of brilliant red streaking through the lower branches of the trees – sometimes upsetting the guineas.
Frogs warming up their vocal cords out at the pond and the Killdeer birds running here and there on their spindly, toothpick legs. Spring is trying. Sunlight cuts through the clouds on certain days and warms the earth. And yet some mornings are freezing cold. Earlier this week it was twenty-six degrees on the way to school. Brrrrrr…
I love this poem by Christina Georgina Rosetti titled The First Spring Day.
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing, robin, sing;
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.
There are two more verses but this verse explains how I feel each spring. I am so ready for full-blown spring, but Spring takes her time. She sends out a few birds with some warm rays and then winter pushes her aside to blast us again. One day I get out my short sleeves and the next I am pulling on two sweaters and a jacket and it is I who am in sore doubt concerning Spring. I want to bask in the sunlight but the wind tells me it will be another day. With persistence, Spring finally wins out with the bulbs pushing up from the moist earth, buds swelling on the tips of branches, and a gentle greening of the world around us.
Because of Winter, I want Spring to be an overnight sensation. I want to wake up to a green world with loads of blooms and buzzing bees. I want to walk in the park without a jacket and pack away the sweaters and scarves. Today is the first calendar day, so I know it is on the way. Gradually, our world will turn bright green as the days grow longer. The momma goose will be sitting in her place at the side of the pond, hatching her eggs and the fish will swim towards the sunlight dappling the surface. And the rooster will strut around as if he were the one to bring the spring. Crowing and letting the world know that he is important.
Historically, culturally, spring is seen as a time of rebirth, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. During spring the earth warms and new life springs forth from the earth, thus the name spring. Animals come out of hibernation, birds begin to nest and migrate back to their origins, bugs and insects begin the age old rite of multiplication. Farmers and gardeners plant their seeds as the earth warms.
Spring is the time we head outdoors. Some days in jackets and other days in shorts. Even if the weather is not declaring a NEW springtime, the merchants are! The stores are full of new plants and racks of seeds. My mailbox is overflowing with flower magazines and gardening magazines. Tractor supply has their tanks out and full of new chicks and ducklings. The clothing magazines are full of tall girls sun-kissed by the sun and lounging on the beaches. Not only is spring almost here, but summer is almost over! According to them.
March is tank-tops and giant azaleas. When it is actually warm enough to purchase these things they will most likely be sold out! I hope not, because the kids will NOT go with me to the pool or beach if I wear that same, old, sort-of blue, suit again. The one with the little skirt (now unhemmed) that tries to hide my sins. The one with the large safety pin holding the right strap in place.
I tell the kids that a bright red geranium marks spring for me. When it is warm enough for me to buy a geranium, then I will think about purchasing a new suit.
You know they are praying daily for those geraniums!