The Promise Of Spring

 (Written on the evening of February 28th, 2017)

Winds hint at impending seasonal change. The time of increased severe weather is almost at hand and the promise of spring is upon us.

Thick sweeping lines in the clouds extend over the land this evening, and the direction of their intent I can see in the national radar images displayed on the screen of my smartphone. Their formation begins not far from here, but extends as part of a system into an already tornado watched Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. We might see a little rain after midnight local meteorologists say, but it could be a long night for the folks in the middle of this system.

Insects are increasingly making their presence known and I am sure that anticipation is high in their world for the days when average temps make life a little more worth living. Moths have been haunting the window panes at night and ladybugs increasingly hatch. Leaves on the roses have come to life and the redbuds and plums have started to flower, though not as brilliant in color as in previous years.

The buds on the oak limbs are swollen and with the addition of a dense fog or heavy rain, they might break, setting their insides free. All this build-up towards the explosion of life from a winter’s dormancy, led by blowing winds and clouds that hint of increased chances of rain, set the stage for what's to come.

Summer to fall to winter is like finishing off the last of the summer wine. All effort spent, most visibly colorful acts of the flora are drained from the full to empty wine glass. What is left of the fruit of effort, recedes to a core, where it will incubate until the very end of winter.

As spring draws near, there is tension. One can feel this tension in the air through the winds, see it in the fog that begins to haunt the morning hillsides when there is calm. The imminent arrival of Spring is like the distant thunder of the approaching storms that help to define the season. As buds begin to swell on the limbs of the trees, the animals get a little friskier in their play. The browns and the tans and the myriad shades of gray are about to give way to the productive return of an array of color.

What a wonder to have witnessed this cycle each year. What a gift to have listened to the cycle of life, to have danced in the rain and to have smelled the clean air that follows in the wake of a spring storm. To recognize that I have walked and slept beneath the stars, to have been conscious of the experience of life's yearly cycle on this planet and all that it leads to.

For some, this will be the beginning of the season of destruction, for others the start to the season of renewal. New life will be born in the chaos that is a time of change and will somehow, someway, find its way in the world or die trying. Life will end up a little better, a little more improved than the spring that came before. More importantly, however, existence will continue.

This is the promise of spring.