The Year's at the Spring


(Spectrumbot) #1

There is an expectant energy that happens this time of year. Spring, as we like to say, is in full bloom. Each morning, I wake to birdsong and the sun breaking on the horizon. Spider webs glisten with dew and the air smells like wet earth and lilacs. There are dandelions everywhere.

People walk with a lighter step in springtime. Their smiles are brighter, their laughter is louder. During the harsh Michigan winters, I forget how much I miss the sun until spring returns it to me. It was never really gone, of course. The sun was always there, but it seemed more distant, less accessible. And in return, the world felt heavier. My worries were greater, my doubts bigger.

Then, just as it seems the world will always be draped in shadows, that first bird takes a tentative chirp, a bud pokes through the still-frozen ground, and in the blink of an eye, the world is bathed in light and sound and joy.

I think Robert Browning said it best in his poem from 1841:

The year's at the spring, And day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hill-side's dew-pearled; The lark's on the wing; The snail's on the thorn; God's in his Heaven— All's right with the world!

My hope for you, dear reader, is that you will feel God’s presence shining down like the spring-day sun, and all will be right in your world once more.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6804

(le vieux) #2

I had forgotten that it was Browning who wrote that (and that morning begins at 7 :wink: --it begins much earlier for me). Thanks for the reminder. I would like to have 2 months of May, rather than one (and skip February, which felt like 2 months for some of us this past winter).

Vive le printemps!


(Tim Page) #3

There is a dichotomy in this world that some people never see, that one mans spring marks the autumn and coming winter for another. Here in the south of the southern land the first frost of winter has already been, the last remnants of colour are falling from the trees and the mountains have their first dustings of snow. And so it seems with the minds and souls of all men and women, that while some rejoice in spring and summer others must face their own storms. I do not begrudge you your springtime joy, but remember us in our time of winter, and remember all those who face a personal winter in your own country as it is bursting with springtime joy. Until the forever spring of Christs returning, God bless


(Elaine Nelson) #4

“And what is so rare as a day in June,
Then if ever come perfect days.”

“If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” (for you Aussies)

My favorite time of year, and my favorite flowers-- lilacs. I can still smell their fragrance and memories return to academy days in Tennessee. Smells recall to memory the longest and oldest of our lives.


(le vieux) #5

The solution must be to live in the tropics, where there is only a wet season and a dry season, and where gardening is a year round activity. Of course, in the tropics, fighting noxious insects and weeds is also a year round activity. :slight_smile: On the other hand, those who live in the tropics can’t appreciate the feeling of spring after a long winter.


(le vieux) #6

So, Elaine, is it pronounced “lilock” or “lilack”? I hear both. I suppose it’s like the “tomayto”/“tomotto” argument. I remember being in Ontario in late May one year and the lilacs were in full bloom. It was spectacular. I’m a fan of magnolias. We finally got a hardy yellow one which is beautiful. You folks in warmer climates are fortunate to be able to grow so many varieties of plants. I miss the fresh peaches and apricots which were abundant where I grew up in Calif.


(jeremy) #7

the east definitely had it’s problems this winter…i believe boston saw no less than three major blizzards…but the west has been great…i was able to drive through the rockies three times with virtually no snow and ice this winter, which is unheard of…right now, my biggest suspense is whether my peegee hydrangia, which i personally planted in my backyard last year, will bloom again - or even bud, actually…on a brighter note: my hot pink indoor oleanders, which were attacked by aphids at around xmas, appear to be coming back…that’s the great thing about spring: thing’s come back…


(le vieux) #8

Boston had the most snow ever recorded in one winter–which is what one would expect with global warming, of course. For some cities in New England, February was the coldest month ever recorded.

When I was living in Washington State about 35 years ago, one meteorologist said that it was often the case that when the east coast is getting hammered, the west coast is having benign weather–and vice versa. That was certainly the case this past winter. Next winter could be the opposite.


(Kim Green) #9

Generally “lilock” in the East Coast…generally “lilack” though there is another more common pronunciation: “lilick” in the West Coast. Having lived my life almost equally divided in the 2 places I have sort of a mixed up-vernacular and I sound like I am from the Mid-West though I never lived there! lol


(Bille) #10

Thank you, @Alisa for your inspirational essay. Your final lines especially reminded me of the lines of a song from long ago… “Like a child that is comforted is my soul”. But I’m totally frustrated at trying to recall more of it… and internet and YouTube search turned up nothing at all about it other than to reveal that there are two songs… one old and one modern… by the same or similar names.

I’m hoping that someone here can help me. The one I am looking for is by Loretta Ellenberger, “arranged” by Rupert Lang, and was published in Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #131C. (I’m even hoping that someone will find it, perform it, and make it available in some YouTube or other computer accessible form… dreamer that I am. :blush: )


(le vieux) #11

That’s interesting. I grew up (out west) pronouncing it like you said. Now, I’ve taken to pronouncing it “lilack.” I’ve tried to avoid altering my pronunciation on many words (I still say “ant” for “aunt,” rather than “ahnt,” like so many do where I live), but after more than 30 years in the east, there has been some osmosis. Out here carbonated beverages are called “soda;” where I grew up it was “pop,” or “soda pop.” If I said “pop” nobody except west coast transplants would know what I meant.

I was thinking that this is off topic, but maybe not, since our lilacs will be blooming in the next couple of weeks.


(Kim Green) #12

Well, however you say it…they’re still pretty and sweet-smelling flowers!
BTW…I still say “ahnt” :slight_smile: We could be talking for a long time about the differences (on or off-topic).


(Andrew) #13

Yes, I can go for that.

But my absolute favourites are bluebells. Just two weeks in the year.


(le vieux) #14

If that’s a Campanula we don’t have that variety here, but there are others, and they’re all nice. One of my favorites is an endemic to the Olympic Mts. in Washington State: Campanula Piperi. I really like the early spring wildflowers; especially the trout lilies, and the trillium. They don’t last long enough.


(Andrew) #15

In England, they grow in ancient woodlands, this is one indicator of how old the woodland is.


(le vieux) #16

Very nice. I’d love to see woods like that.


(Andrew) #17

It’s funny. This topic reminds me of the unofficial truce the opposing troops had in the trenches at Christmas in the first world war.

Old foes, who both believed that God was on their side., took time out to play football, share stories from home, smoke a cigarette and show pictures of loved ones.

So this is our unofficial truce!?! We realise we have more in common than those issues which separate us.

But tomorrow Christmas is over and we shall all be exhausted from our civility. No doubt we shall all cry with great gusto (and relief) ‘let battle be joined!’


(Kim Green) #18

Really beautiful…do they have much fragrance, Andrew?


(Andrew) #19

Yes, especially when mixed with the aromas of the woods.


(Kim Green) #20

That would be intoxicating. Since I live in the high desert area now (Santa Fe, NM) there’s really not much in the way of “flowers” though the cactus is in bloom and is beautiful.