Midwinter spring is its own season…

I’ve had that line singing in my head all this past week of cool radiant dawns and soul-warming mid-days and chilly pink dusks. This lovely, fragile time is like the world standing on tiptoe, holding its breath, flushed with the anticipation of all that is to come. I still need my sweater to walk the dog in the late afternoons—five o’clock, the sweetest, freshest hour of all—but the sunshine, not as pale as it was a week ago, rains down on my eager face and bare head like a blessing from heaven.

The trees around the house and down through the woods have been a wild symphony of birdsong. The robins and cedar waxwings—those dashing cavaliers with their black masks and coats of dun-colored velvet—have been gorging themselves on the big holly tree in the backyard and making quite a fuss about it. Philip absolutely cannot keep the bird feeder filled for more than a day or two at a time, owing to all the ‘weary little wandering wings’ that have made this their place of refreshment.

One morning last week when I went out to feed the chickens, I stopped in the middle of the yard and gasped with a catch in my throat. For the walnut trees around me were full of the music of Jekyll Island, after home (and England) my favorite place on this earth. I closed my eyes and saw the golden marshes, the moss-hung oak trees, almost felt the warm, humid, salty air on my face. And when I opened them again, the flash of scarlet I glimpsed as a flying form darting overhead assured me that I had not been mistaken. The red-winged blackbirds were here en masse. Several days later I watched a black host of them startle to life from one of the trees as if by some mystic signal and head south. I watched them go with a genuine heaviness in my heart—their music had been such a stabbing pleasure. I look forward to greeting them again this summer on the Island.

But there are so many other miracles abroad. The willow tree we planted last spring is covered with millions of tiny green tufts. The pear trees have velvet buds of pearl and grey that will not be buds many days longer, and my husband brought me a handful of golden jonquils the other day, their fragrance as aerial as the spring itself.    

I’ve been sick the past few days, but a friend wisely reminded me that my body needs the vitamins from sunshine to assimilate all the vitamins I’m popping in my mouth by way of multis and Juice Plus…and so I’ve been sitting on the patio with my lunch and my book and soaking up all the goodness of my Father’s beautiful world. All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres… 

2 Responses to “Midwinter spring is its own season…”

  1. Joanna says:

    Lovely post, as always.
    LOVE your blog. :)

  2. Wendy says:

    Oh Lanier – I’m SO glad you mentioned the red-winged blackbirds!!!
    The boys and I were sitting on the front step the other day (on one of
    those gloriously spring-like days) when Knox first noticed the flash
    of red. At first glance I thought it was just another, ordinary blackbird
    but the boys quickly assured me that this one was different. We ran
    to get our birdbook and were delighted to find out just what it was.
    There were hundreds of them in the nearby trees!

    I also loved what you said about this being such a ‘fragile time…like the
    world standing on tip-toe holding its breath..” Exactly my sentiments.
    Thank you for putting my heart thoughts into words!