Spring is coming. I woke up this morning and I just barely realized that.
The funny thing is that I have been teaching about the season of "spring" for the past two weeks. I've explained that birds will return to the trees and build nests, that flowers will push up from the ground and bloom all around us, that my students will get to go outside for recess again. I've taught these concepts with confidence and conviction. Spring will come.
But the keyword in this is "will." My consciousness was not aware of "will." I've been telling my students spring will come, but within myself I've asked, Will spring come? I hoped that it would. I think that I was even inwardly praying for it. But I didn't know for sure. It was as if the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia had swooped down and cast her spell of perpetual winter in my head. I didn't know if it would end.

And then it was here. I woke up and there were flowers pushing mulch that covers the small space of ground that I can call my own. Birds infested our feeder outside the window--Goldfinches, Mourning Doves, Black-eyed Junkos, and a Downy Woodpecker. I walked outside and my lungs didn't constrict. They expanded.

I asked David if he saw the birds at the feeder. He looked at me confused; the birds had been at the feeder for two weeks.

Even the squirrel who eats our birdseed has emerged. Last spring, David and I tried to throw water on him to chase him away because he scares away our birds. I hid by the sliding door and David waited outside at the bottom of the balcony. On the signal, I opened the door and threw water at him from a cup. He dove to the safety of the ground, only to be assaulted by another cup of water. But he came back the next day anyway. Now we just let him stay and hope that the birds will take care of themselves.

Spring is here, and I missed its coming. A finch hops around the ground as I sit here and type this. I pause to watch it. I don't want to miss anything else.


Chan said...

Julie, I'm impressed with your bird knowledge.

One of my best spring memories is finding crocuses that my mom planted the year before springing up next to our porch. I was five or so, and it was New York. It seemed magical, these perfect purple and white flowers shooting up through grass that was still matted from being under snow for five months.

Talking about spring in PA and your flowers through the mulch image made me think of that. Thanks for posting, Julie. I'm glad it's spring somewhere, if not here in Rexburg.

Emily Goodsell said...

I love this. I always like reading your writing because I can tell from the first few words that it's you. Your voice is so strong.

I especially like how you ended your post. "Spring is here, and I missed its coming. A finch hops around the ground as I sit here and type this. I pause to watch it. I don't want to miss anything else." I think this whole post can make for a great gospel analogy.

Crystal said...

You made me remember the spring that I missed the lilacs.
Normally I watched and waited for the first lilac to fully bloom, because that meant spring was officially here and winter was over. But one day I came home from work and realized that the lilacs had finished blooming, and I hadn't smelled or even looked at them.

Chan said...

Crystal, that's one of the saddest things I've read in a while. I think maybe it's sad because there are times when I really want to notice and revel in things like lilacs blooming and early spring days and rainstorms, but I'm so stressed or preoccupied that even when I do notice them, I can't enjoy them. I hope missing the lilacs wasn't like that, I hope you just missed them.

Crystal said...

I didn't mean for it to sound sad, but I guess it was. It wasn't so much that I was too busy - I just wasn't looking for them. Which is worse, in a way. But I'm going to look for them this year.
There's some lilac bushes on College Ave. You should go pick some when they bloom, Chan.