Don't Miss Out on Spring!
Don’t Miss out on Spring
T. S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month" because spring reminded him of loss and grief. This year Covid-19 has certainly made that true. The virus has raged through our cities and towns leaving more than 50,000 dead. But April is also the beginning of spring, a time of rebirth and renewal acknowledged in many religious traditions. We still have a few days of April to celebrate this ancient festival. Let's not allow this time pass without observing all its sensual and sacred manifestations.
April brings us new grass, surprise snows, frost on the cottonwood catkins, Easter and Passover. The woods surprise us with warbler song, blood root and trout lilies. The river runs high with snowmelt and the fish are biting. The air smells sweet. The orchard offers blooms: first pink apricots and peaches, then white plums and finally the pink and white apple blossoms. Crabapples hum with bees. We plant peas and potatoes, onions and carrots and get ready to set out tomatoes, peppers, basil and cucumber seedlings. The old cat brings in a tiny mouse she’s caught and lets it loose in the house. Evening grosbeaks in breeding plumage come to the feeder. I listen for the first song of the yellow-breasted chat, a secretive bird whose call is heard up and down the tributaries of the Rio Grande. I don't need my winter coat and somedays I don't need a coat at all. I open windows, hang hummingbird feeders and sit outdoors in the evening.
No matter how sad or hurt you might be, find a way to relish these days, wherever this spring finds you. Gaze at the sky and name the clouds. Get outside in the early morning and listen to the birds. Observe the lengthening of the dusk and the way the sun sets. Notice when the swallows return. Speak to the snake that startles you or the rodent that peers from under the front steps. See pigeons courting and tulips opening wide. Don’t miss anything, no matter how frustrated or afraid you feel. Have you had as many springs as you want? How many more can you hope for? You have this one. Don’t let it pass without appreciating its beauty with your mindful heart.