Tonight, the month of March will take her leave, trailing a sky full of stars and the sound of dancing brooks behind her. She played here with all her heart, sending her winds, her snows, her warmth.
She transformed ice into puddles. She shortened our nights and lengthened our days. She bade Winter goodbye and ushered in Spring. She brought us hope, and held us back so we would not dash too quickly ahead.
And now, having carried us safely from the frozen shores, she takes her leave, singing Yes, and blowing kisses on the wind. Farewell, March. Farewell.
Because Spring had so graciously welcomed the snow, March spread a final layer of it over the hillside as she prepared to say farewell.
It took some work. The sunlight was growing strong now and the winds were warm. But it was worth the effort. This snow was a gift, you see, not only of farewell, but of heartfelt gratitude. When so many others had seen March’s snow as a torment or a burden, Spring had welcomed it with joy. Where they saw only affliction, Spring had seen its beauty.
And so, when night cooled the air, March summoned the North wind and, gathering her final batch of magic powder, sent a blanket of snow shimmering down.
It’s wonder wasn’t lost on Spring. She floated through the woods in ecstasy at the snow’s beauty, singing in joy. And March was pleased and fulfilled.
Things are not always what they seem. The cover story may not tell the tale.
Here, on this gray day, strew with winter-worn leftovers and leafless trees, you might be tempted to yawn with indifference, to judge that nothing of interest was going on. Haha! That is how the first days of springtime fool you.
A few more pages into the story, you will see more clearly what I mean.
For now, let your ears hear the laughing of the brook and the songs of countless birds filling the air.
Overhead a pair of geese flies north.
Things are happening here that a casual glance may not reveal. But then, that is often the case, don’t you think?
For Kaela Ann
The day dawned full of promise.
It was more than the slant of light as the rainclouds sailed away, more than the freshness of the air or the way it was filled with the songs of newly arriving birds. It was more than the lace of swelling buds on the trees or the gentle warmth of the morning’s sun.
It was all of these, to be sure; and yet there was something more. There was a sense of unseen miracles unfolding, a feeling that some wondrous gift had arrived, that something of untold beauty had been born.
The day was brimming with promise. And all the earth sang Yes.
It was the first clear evening since Spring arrived, and as she relaxed, watching the sun set behind the stand of woods, she dreamed of the flowers that she would soon open, and of the liitle colored fishes that would hatch in the ponds.
The sky, who was very fond of Spring, reflected her dreams, as if it was reading her mind or holding a conversation with her. When she imagined fragile blossoms, it blushed the gentle hues that they would wear. And when she thought of hatching birds and fishes, it floated little clouds across its sea of blue.
It was a kind of love song the two of them sang together, Spring the sunset sky. And its melody filled the fields with joy and peace.
Maybe this shimmering dusting is the season’s last snow, its final hoorah. Maybe the daffodils can rise up now and blossom, their brave and fragile petals spreading safely in the sun.
Or maybe not. You never know this time of year.
Or any time, for that matter. Nothing is certain.
The secret to joy is to bite into this moment, to inhale its richness for all its worth, as if it were the last that you would see. Because it is. It’s one of a kind, here, then gone.
Let it imprint itself in your memory. Then, on some hot day, when you are sitting beneath a motionless green tree, waiting for a breeze to come, you will be able to close your eyes and say to yourself, “I remember the spring’s last snow.”
The sunlight stirs my eagerness. I walk to the back pond to see if, by chance, the green heron who lived here last year had returned. Pine cones dotted the sheaf of melting ice on the pond’s surface like boats in a frozen regatta. But nothing stirred.
I smile at my foolish expectation that, even in this cold, spring would perhaps disclose more of her gifts. I turn to leave, resolving to be more patient.
A hundred yards away, I watch the russet oak leaves flutter across the field in the wind. Then I stop, suddenly struck by the realization that these are not fluttering leaves I am seeing, but the red breasts of dozens and dozens of robins hungrily searching for worms.
I am swept up in delight at the sight of them. Wishes get granted in the most surprising forms.
Just as Spring was ending her first visit to the pond, a patch of color caught her eye, calling to her. Rounding the frozen edge of the shore, she saw that the hues were leaves and a pine cone caught in the ice and framed by weathered debris along the pond’s rim.
How like Winter to leave such a design, she thought. Her subtle artistry was everywhere, if only you knew how to look for it.
Spring had been spotting Winter’s little jewels all day. She loved the way Winter juxtaposed her quiet colors and the rhythm and movement she brought to her arrangement of shapes and lines.
Spring stored the image in her memory and left the pond with a feeling of reverence and joy. She sang her thanks to the sky as she wandered into the evening, knowing that her gratitude would find and touch Winter’s heart.
Rain, sun, snow. It doesn’t matter. Spring has come, with her glorious light. And all the earth’s creatures are once more alive in it, defying winter’s death, proving it an illusion.
Thick sprouts in fresh colors of red and lime and lemon poke through the seemingly lifeless soil to gobble the light, swallowing it whole. Fat geese float on thawed ponds, and sit atop nests, dreaming of fuzzy babies.
The silence of winter’s air has shattered into birdsong.
Bring whatever weather you will. Life goes on. Life goes gloriously on.
Today, Spring drifted over the lake and sang her waking song to the tadpoles and the fishes. Along the banks, the brush glowed with a warm, rusty red in the late afternoon sun. Spring always admired the scenes that Winter left behind. She did so much with such a limited palette. She was a master at working within constraints.
Each of the seasons was a daughter of the sun; each had its own unique set of abilities and powers. The talents of each were perfectly suited to the tasks assigned them. And all of them worked with magnificent artistry and grace. None envied the others. They worked in joyous cooperation to fashion the whole of the year, each one shining in her own time, benefitting from and contributing to the work of the others. And each felt honored to play her part.
Spring lingered for a bit on the shore of the lake, watching the ice transform into water. The first of the geese were sailing along the far shore, readying their nests. Carefully, she dropped a few degrees of warmth into the waters to keep them liquid while the last cold days of March unfolded. Then, smiling, she drifted on. There was much yet to accomplish.