Oh, you flighty, capricious one, you Mistress of Moods, what a show you put on! First you were warm as winter wool, flashing your flirtatious smile. Then your face would be covered with tears and as cold as a polar bear’s nose.
You whirled through our days like a jester, tossing your flowers and frost. We never knew, from blink to blink, what you’d pull from your harlequin bags.
But you made us laugh. You gave us hope. And you broke winter’s long, dark spell.
Now you leave us, bowing behind a curtain of green, trailing songbirds and tulips.
And we rise and applaud you. Good show, Mistress March. Good show.
Tucked away in hidden places where few glances ever fall, tiny wildflowers bloom, unheralded. They need no one to notice them; they are content merely to shine and to let their light fall where it may.
They brighten their neighborhoods with their simple beauty, and cheer their neighbors with their smiles. They have no pretensions. They do not lust for fame. They happily share their nectar with wee spiders and ants and bees.
And even if you never see one, their subtle perfume rides the air that you breathe, and all the earth is a richer place for the sweetness.
While we slept they danced into town, the merry minstrels of joy. They set up camps in fields and yards from one end of here to the other, as far as the eye could see.
And when the morning dawned, they danced the song of the sun.
The children, delighted, included them in their play, making bracelets of their milk-filled stems, rubbing their golden pollen under each other’s noses, gathering fat bunches of them as gifts of love for their mothers.
Wise elders gathered them too, making healing tinctures, tossing their leaves in salads, distilling them into fine wines.
And all whose minds had not been warped by ill-taught attributions felt their spirits soar at the sight of them and reveled in their return.
Life triumphs. Bring what you will: fire, frost, wind, drought, flood. Nothing destroys it. Leave but one seed buried in the depths of the soil, one thriving cell on the ocean floor and it will recreate the whole.
Each spring is its own proof. Life’s cycles roll on and on, spanning centuries, eons, days without memory or number.
And no one can solve the mystery of when it began, what brought it here, or why.
I say it is the singing of the Great Yes, springing from its unquenchable joy.
As soon as the flower fairies heard the alarm, they rushed into motion. The frost dragon was coming! There was no time to waste.
They flew in great waves, each type flocking to its own species. And hovering over each blossom, they extended their glistening wings as shields from the rain and frost that the dragon breathed down.
Most of squadrons beat the frost dragon with only minutes to spare. But alas, some didn’t arrive in time, and many little blossoms were lost.
The fairies who came too late to save their charges gently gathered the still and fallen petals in their arms and carried the little flowers’ spirits to the home dimension. There they would be comforted and warmed, and celebrated for all they had accomplished before their fall, and for the bravery with which they hung on to the last.
When dawn came, the frozen breath of the frost dragon still filled the air. The sun climbed slowly over the eastern hills and grew and grew in might until the last vestige of the dragon’s work was burned away. And all the valiant blossoms who still remained—and they were beyond number—spread themselves to dry in the morning’s welcome light, and the fairies wept with joy at their beauty and their courage.
The fruit trees lining the drive balance with the grace of egrets on their thin stems. They’re laden with blossoms as light as an infant’s dreams.
Above them, low clouds usher in white dragons, breathing frosty air. Nightfall will tell the tale.
But this afternoon, the blossoms dance their ballet. To them, every day is precious, whether it’s their first or their last. That’s all that life asks of them, of any of us: that we dance our dance as if this was our first day, or our final one.
I woke to the sound of a thousand wee flutes trilling. Pulling myself from dreams, I shook my head and listened more intently. Yes; there it was, floating in the open window.
When I looked outside for the source of the sound, at first I thought it had snowed. But when I focused, I saw that the brilliant patches of white were clumps of tiny flowers, none bigger than my fingernail.
It was as if some angel had tripped in the woods last night, spilling buckets of baby stars. And here they were, laughing, as they tumbled across the forest floor and down onto the lawn.
I hadn’t the heart to tell them that they were meant to be twinkling from the sky. It’s up to all of us, I understand, to bloom where we are planted, whether by accident or not.
And from the sound of them, I think they know that, even better than I.
Now comes the lovely Queen, Magnolia, oldest of all flowers, who blossomed when dinosaurs roamed.
With sweet nobility, she greets us, unfurling her pink robes.
“I bring you springtime, my children.” she sings, “I have come through the mists of time to bring you joy. Be of good cheer and let your hearts ring with gladness, for we are all children of the Great Yes, whose love is ceaseless and without end.”
Her song rises into the high blue sky, carried by the voices of a thousand birds.
And we who stand beneath her branches are helpless in the face of her splendor and grace, and can only bow.
One midnight, somewhere near the first full day of spring, the Joy Giant goes walking.
He’s huge, old J.G. Taller than the tallest trees. And his feet are enormous.
He’s invisible to humans. But dogs can see him, mainly because their hearts are filled with the same kind of happiness as his. And children can see him, too; but only in their dreams, and he never scares them.
Sometimes he pauses outside the homes where dogs or children live, stoops down and looks in their windows, softly chuckling.
He walks all over the place, just to celebrate spring. You can tell when he’s passed by. Yellow forsythia bloom in his tracks, echoing his laughter.
Some beauty is too tender for any season but spring. Even then, when it is wrapped in the soft blue air, you wonder how it dares to be.
Snow could blow in on harsh winds at any moment. Torrents of pelting rain could fall. You hold your breath, seeing the sweet, fragile blossoms on the branches. You want to give it some of your life in exchange for the gift that it has given yours.
You stare at it, burning its perfection into your mind. When you fall asleep, it dances in your dreams and the calls of song birds echo into morning.