The rain glides down the still bare branches
of the trees, washing them clean for springtime.
You can smell it in the air now, even though,
on days like these, bathed in clouds, the world
looks as much like November as it does late March.
Until you notice the buds bursting on the tips
of the trees. Until you spot the tips of tulips
and daffodils poking above the soil. Until you notice
how this wet, cold air is alive with birdsong.
Then you know.
Now come the rains, the cleansing rains,
softening the soil, rousing the waking seeds.
Let the shoots rise. Let the buds release
their leaves and flowers. Let the sun
unfurl its rainbows in the fresh, blue sky.
Now come the rains, the singing rains,
gliding down the tree trunks, piling
puddles in the streets, filling lakes,
feeding ponds, washing winter’s sleep
from the world’s eyes. And all the while
singing its life-giving song.
Now come the rains. Give thanks
and let your heart rise in gladness
for the advent of Spring, for the
cleansing, softening, greening rain,
and for its gentle, joyous song.
“I love the watching how the buds on the trees
are beginning to swell,” she said, taking me by surprise.
I hadn’t noticed. She’s farther south, I said to myself.
Surely I would have noticed, the softening of the treeline
being one of my favorite late-winter sights.
But in the morning, as I gazed out my window,
I saw that she spoke truly. The oak indeed was fuzzier
than it had been the week before. Say what you want,
Jack Frost. The ancient ones on the hilltop tell
the long-range tale: Spring is coming, regardless.
It’s more than just the softness of their silhouettes against the sky, now that the buds are swelling. It’s the sound of the wind as it dances through. The brittleness is gone.
In its place, there’s a sweet whisper, as if a secret is unfolding.
And this morning, the calls of the crows and jays are joined by some tiny twitter dancing in the boughs. It’s a wee song, small as the tree’s buds, with a joy all its own.
How softly the world whispers spring!
Ah, it’s the sugar maples, the ones through whose veins the sweet sap will soon flow. But not yet.
These are their days of wanton celebration, with not a lick of work to do. No sap to raise, no buds to swell, no birds building nests in their hair. No seeds to make, no ants to feed. They haven’t a single care.
It’s just them and the snow, naked and free, dancing in winter’s crisp air.
Look at it whirl! Galaxies and electrons, cells and seas spin and splash and swirl. Tongues and tails wag. Butterflies and eyelids flutter. Giraffes teeter-totter across the plains and the plains dance, too.
Hearts beat. Lungs pump. Thoughts fly, and the moments that give rise to them.
Even the slow things dance. Elephants and turtles lumber. Buds unfold. Rocks turn to sand.
It’s all one ever-changing, glorious dance, my friends, to the song of the Yes, played in the key of infinite joy.