It happens every year. March gives way to April, and I wake up one morning and see that a miracle has transpired, overnight, as it were. And every year I am unflinchingly convinced that no spring has ever been as gorgeous as this one. ‘How could it have been?’ I ask myself. If it were, we’d spend all of the rest of the year pining for its charms. But one glance through my journals reminds me that the God who masterfully blends our love of the familiar with our passion for change has outdone Himself every year since spring ever was.
Here are some previous raptures…
We planted 10 apple trees in the front pasture. I told Philip that if my children are going to have an orchard to play in, we’d better get busy and plant it now. He agreed–his philosophy is that ‘now is always the time to plant trees!’
I’m like a little child with my garden: I run out every morning and inspect everything carefully to see what’s grown and what’s coming up, even digging around a bit to see if late-comers have germinated! And they’re all appearing day by day–beans, squash, okra, cucumbers, corn, nasturtiums, four-o-clocks! The tomatoes and peppers are thriving, too. I planted a combination of sunny marigolds, blue plumbago and red salvia with them.
This sweet April has stolen my heart…my little world is a rhapsody of birdsong and green leaves and wavering sunbeams all infused with an essence no perfumer could ever hope to imitate. After church yesterday I laid in the hammock for a long time, dozing and day-dreaming and just looking…I feel so rich in violets and bluebirds, in glittering sunsets and rosy dawns.
We had tea under the cherry tree. I wanted Philip to experience it before the blooms all shattered–and, as it was, there were soft little showers of petals the entire time we sat there.
There is a brood of downy chicks in the basement, pecking and scratching and preening in a most business-like manner. It’s so funny to see those little balls of fluff pretending to be grown-up hens. I won’t admit how much of my day I stand watching them…but, honestly, is there anything in the world so adorable as a baby chick?
In the potting shed there are rows of young plants just bursting to get into the garden. I’ve cut back a bit this year, but there will always be room for my foxgloves and hollyhocks and basil and tomatoes. Not to mention my yearly attempts at Flemish poppies and lavendar. But there are still stacks of seed packets in the refrigerator waiting for the magic middle of April to be direct-sown!
I haven’t written yet of the charms of this beautiful April–of the grey and silver days of steady showers; of the hushed expectation of a garden all in bud; of the maidenly approach of warmer weather. When I cross the lawn in the mornings on my way down to the chicken pen, the sweet, simple odor of clover wafts all about me and the world seems washed clean in the glittering dew. Oh, it’s all so lovely–every time I step outside I feel compelled to lift my heart in praise and thanksgiving.
I was talking to a friend yesterday on the tree-shaded porch of a little French bistro just off Peachtree Street about what a healing time the spring is. We both waxed eloquent on the virtues of a long winter to put everything in perspective and to make the spring that much more precious when it comes. As Lucy Maud says, ‘It is always safe to dream of spring…’. To come out of darkness into a world of such gentle beauty and freshness is like a good, strong restorative to the soul.
~And, just to shake things up a bit… 😉
Yesterday we drove through Chianti to Sienna. Our route wove through olive groves and vineyards, and was so typically Tuscan that we found ourselves laughing with sheer delight around each bend in the road that revealed yet another spread of sloping pastures and cypress trees, tall and dark against the bright green hills. We kept pulling over just to stare and enjoy!
At one point we came around a curve and met an old man with an enormous bale of hay across our lane. He started chattering away in Italian, cheerfully shouting, "Poggliobonsi! Poggliobonsi!", and pointing for us to turn around. We looked at each other, mystified, then, repairing to our map, realized that Poggliobonsi was a town in the opposite direction. With a little maneuvering we managed to re-route our course, and arrived in Sienna not much later than we had anticipated...
Hope all of you are enjoying the delights of the season in your own part of this beautiful world!