April 4, 2008

Song of Spring…

Category: News — Ira @ 6:40 pm


See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

—Song of Solomon, 2:11-12

Spring. It’s here. Finally. The mad month of March strolled in meekly like a lamb this year. And slunk out with hardly a whimper, its lion’s nature tamed for a season. Now April comes.

Spring. The time of rebirth as the earth stirs from its long winter slumber. The frost recedes from the depths, the grass creeps up and breaks through in yard and field. In the north, the last stubborn shrinking remnants of drifted snow and ice dissipate slowly on the northern slopes and on the shaded sides of old bank barns.

What was before comes again. There is nothing new under the sun.

The memory of what was before remains lodged in the heart as a living thing. And spring itself is such a memory.

It is the carefree child walking to school on the soft shoulder of the spongy gravel road. Slopping through the cloudy brown water puddles, tracking the wet black dirt into the school house and the home.

It is the first orange-breasted robin, and purple martens returning to their little apart-ment complexes, mounted on poles and windmills on the farm. It is swallows swooping for insects in the air.

It is the low lonesome call of the mourning dove, and the bob-whites whistling from the weed-choked fence row by the mulberry tree.

It is warm southwestern winds and giant towering cloud banks and sheets of driving rain. It is new leaves blossoming from the great maples in the yard.

It is lengthening days and farmers plowing in sodden fields with teams of steaming snorting horses, the sounds of jangling harness and hoarse loud shouts, and the rich dark gumbo rolling eternally from the gleaming silver plowshare, forming a tapestry of shiny ribbons on the ground.

It is sunny windswept days and rain and stormy winds in March. The soft drizzling showers of April, the water overflowing from the drainage ditches, unable to penetrate the saturated earth. It is the gentle breezes of May, and the planting season for oats and corn.

It is the warm full moon rising at sunset and shifting through raggedy clouds above the southern line of trees. It is the whispering night winds lulling the child into deep and dreamy slumber.

It is rows of flowers blooming in brilliant hues in the deep rich beds below the sundial on the house.

It is the explosive sound of frustrated cattle bawling within the confines of the barnyard fence, eager to explore the soggy meadows still too soft, and the grass not matured for pasture grazing. It is new birth, the frisky calves and colts romping under their mothers’ watchful nervous eyes. It is the cows’ udders swollen with gallons of fresh white-blue milk.

It is the mother hen sweeping across the dusty yard with her brood of a dozen fluffy cotton chicks, clucking to call them to choice tidbits on the ground. Squawking and bristling at the first hint of danger, her chicks huddled in a pile beneath the protective shelter of her cradling wings.

It is the wild geese and ducks returning from the mysteries of the southern climes, darkening the skies in gigantic Vs, their great honking clatter now clear, now distant, now faint, now gone.

It is the children in school, daydreaming over their open textbooks, eager to play ball in the soggy yard, anticipating the hot blue days of summer and no classes. They dream with faint undefined yearnings, a stirring unrest in their hearts.

It is the raggedy barefoot child standing beside the road with the faithful family dog in late afternoon, scanning the western horizon for his brothers’ return from school. His shouts of welcome as they approach.

It is children wading and playing in the creek, swollen to the brim with runoff water, building claptrap dams in vain attempts to stem the flood. It is fishing for catfish beside the multi-flora rose bushes on the north bank of the pond with plastic pipe and string, the worm turning slowly on a rusty hook in the muddy water.

It is the child working in the garden with his mother, ankle deep in soft moist topsoil, plowed last fall and weathered through the winter. It is hoeing long trenches under the tautly stretched string, dropping in seeds of corn and beans and radishes and carrots and chopped half potatoes. To sprout, in due time, and grow to provide the fall harvest and replenish the depleted rows of empty jars stored now in the dank dark recesses of the cellar shelves.

It is exultant reckless laughter, and joy that is its own reward.

It is the awkward sprouting teenage youth, driven by forces he cannot comprehend or resist, to leave all he has known for the strange vast expanses of faraway lands and the turbulent swarms of distant cities.

It is love and dreams of love and deep matters of the heart.

It is the sundering of that which was joined for life.

It is the aging adult, ruefully recalling the lost magic of the season, bewildered and incredulous at the days and months and years that have passed, fading without trace into the mists of time. The mind calculates and acknowledges the sum total of the parts, but the heart cannot fathom all the things seen and felt and heard. Things grasped and claimed and breathed and lost.

It is reflection and rekindling of latent longings deep inside.

It is knowledge that in the season of rebirth there is hope.

Hope that the year will bring good things.

That in loss there is gain. After night, a new dawn.

That the child within might return and the world seen again through his wondering eyes.

Spring is new life after death of the old.


(No Comments) »

  1. Well worth reading. Keep it up.

    Comment by Bear — April 4, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

  2. Spring is the tilling of the garden in joyful anticipation of the coming harvest, but truth is having it flooded 6 times like in 07, here. But I like how you say spring brings hope.

    Here, the menfolks went to help Rudy have sale. Hopefully on their way home by now. We have a busy week ahead as we want to travel to Ind. over next Sat. for Glen and Leann’s wedding. See you all there.

    Comment by Rachel — April 5, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

  3. Again, well said. Thank you.

    Comment by sms — April 7, 2008 @ 9:33 am

  4. Your spring writings stirred in me the feelings of sheer, wild joy at planting garden as a kid with bare feet being tickled in the plowed, soft earth. Feelings you tuck away and forget when you grow up and only see the work and don’t have time for the joy of it. I was never able to plant a proper garden for ourselves since we got married and here we are in the semi-desert. But I always try anyway. I plant lettuce and herbs in the flowerbeds here out of the severe sunlight and it’s yummy. I guess once a farmer, always a farmer-at-heart.


    Comment by LeRoy Whitman — April 9, 2008 @ 10:24 am

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