SONGS OF NATURE
My Love Affair with the Painful Sweetness of Spring
â€œIt was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.â€ ~ John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga English novelist and playwright 1867 â€“ 1933
Hmmm, if I had the chance, would I trade the blooming promise of spring for a warmer climate where winter is just a footnote on the calendar?
I ponder that question from time to time in the forlorn depths of winter. Around mid-January, when Iâ€™m scurrying from the car to the store and back and slip-sliding on icy sidewalks, it seems like a trade I would be willing to make. But eventually, and inevitably, the calendar page turns to April and the tide of the season begins to turn.
â€œEvery April God rewrites the book of Genesis.â€ ~ Austin Oâ€™Malley, American Physicist, 1858 - 1932
Slowly at first, in fits and starts, as if not quite certain that it can work its miracle yet again. Gradually it builds momentum a few warm days at a time. Intrepid wildflowers spring up overnight. Tentative buds appear on the Pussy Willows. The days begin to stretch their legs and push into the evening hours.
When the first Mourning Cloak butterfly appears, chocolate brown and yellow fringed, and flutters about, I begin to have faith that spring has really taken hold. Then the Red Admiral butterflies begin dashing madly about and the verdict is in.
Sometime in late April the big push happens. Nature opens wide her palette of colours. In a matter of days, or so it seems, the trees go from brown and bare to frothing with green. Where a few days hence only a smattering of yellow appeared, a wildflower patch bursts out in a chorus of colour.
Itâ€™s around this time when I shake my head and wonder: How could I give this up? This quintessential rebirth and renewal. The awakening and revival of the earth â€“ and with it, the revival of my spirit and my enduring love for the fruits of mother earth.
And yes, of course, the wondrous migration of the birds which reaffirms that all is right and noble still. And that the cycles of life, which give meaning and purpose to our existence, our still intact despite our human indulgences which threaten them.
â€œEverything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colours, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.â€ ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian Poet, 1875 â€“ 1926
Perhaps I could find it within me to sacrifice April on the altar of endless summer. But May, when the doors swing wide open and spring charges forth with reckless abandon, I simply cannot envision living without.
Spring is the metaphor of renewal that keeps me young at heart even as the years turn my hair to gray and the not so graceful aging of my fragile frame becomes more difficult to disregard. I think I shall have to stay here where chance has put me on this earth. I have become accustomed to the seasons and caught in an endless love affair with the â€œpainful sweetnessâ€ of spring.
~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of â€œUntil the Deep Water Stills â€“ An Internet-enhanced Novelâ€ â€“ double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michaelâ€™s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.comor the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.
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