Spring has been steadily unfolding for the past month. The daffodils and anemones started blooming in mid-February — a welcome reprieve from the sterile months of winter. Since then, I stroll through the yard and garden almost daily looking closely for harbingers of the new season. The birds returned by the hundreds almost all at once. One afternoon, after hearing them chirping away for hours, I came out to find them swarming my magnolia and apple trees. The tulips have formed buds and colored up. The oak leaf hydrangeas are leafing out, as is the viburnum. My hydrangea hedge is finally showing buds, and all my trees are flowering at once. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them bloom at the same time. Even my wisteria is in flower.
Spring is the season of youth. And youth, as the theologian Charles Spurgeon said, “…is the time of beauty….Youth, again, is the time for vigor…. is the time for ardor, for fervency, for enterprise .” Flowers push through hard, cold ground. Leafless trees are in full flower in a matter of days. I can already see mounds and mounds of spiderwort growing even though I mowed it all back in January. Everything is so resilient and robust. Yet both youth and these flowers are ephemeral and tender. My tulip magnolia blooms almost didn’t make it through our frost. The cherry blossoms are poised to blow away in a light wind. It’s a delicate season. As soon as everything appears, it seems to disappear just as quickly.