Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Brink of Spring

Every year my husband remarks on how fast the trees go from their first budding to full-leafed in what seems a matter of hours. One day they're budding, the next morning they're all leafed out and ready for summer. I tell him that's just because he's not looking. He sees the start of spring, then gets busy and doesn't look up until he's standing in the shade.

Last year we made a concerted effort to watch the trees unfold. We both remarked on them when the buds appeared and made daily progress comments to each other. Within four days, the trees were decked out in new leaves. Congratulating ourselves, we made a pact to watch every year and not miss a moment of the season's changes.

For many of us in North America, however, this year our Spring awakening is on hold. As early as February, the flowering bulbs started popping up and by mid-March, many gardens were in full bloom. The forsythia blossomed, the fruit trees bloomed and the trees came out with tiny leaf-buds ready to pop.

And then Spring entered a holding pattern. For the past two weeks, nothing has changed. My forsythia is still blossoming, the yellow flowers brighter than I've ever seen them. The daffodils and narcissus are nodding in the breeze just as happy now as they were when they first came out. My hyacinth are still making my garden fragrant and the trees are still budding with their new leaves.

I'm a writer and use words to capture the scene. My husband is a painter. This paused spring gave us the opportunity to really pore over what happens to the trees, giving us the luxury of extended study. You can see his painting here. It's almost as if Mother Nature hit the "hold" button, slowing everything down so we could take a good, long look at the miracle that's wrought every year. The colors are more delicate, and in fact, more reminiscent of autumn with so much of the branches still showing through. The light is brighter, probably because the leaves are still in their infancy. The entire scene speaks of sunlight and promise, just what spring should be.

Soon the seasons will move on again, Mother Nature will let go of the button and send us on our way. But for right now, I'm very much enjoying the extension of a too-brief moment.

Play safe, everyone!

PS. The link for Steven's painting is a Facebook link. He doesn't have it on his website yet. If you want to see the speed painting, you can go here (it's on YouTube). Be sure to subscribe while you're there! :)

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