I love spring!
I love the rebirth. I love the anticipation of being outdoors more. I love, love, love all of the plants that flower!
When we moved to the northeast, I had a paradigm shift regarding seasons. We moved from Texas, which has two seasons: hot and really hot. And while there are a few cold days, a few ice storms, and a few snowy days, they pass quickly. A snowman made one day is a puddle the next.
Whereas, in the northeast, winter is a season of real endings – real death. Trees really go dormant. Grass really dies. The whole landscape changes. For a long time. And this year, for a long, long, long time…
I think that is why the birth of spring is so stunning. Before moving here, I didn’t know that there were so many flowering trees in creation. I didn’t notice the spectacular shrubs that flower like fireworks. A simple drive around the neighborhood is reason for ooohs and aaaahs. My kids weary of me suddenly shouting, “Oh, look at THAT tree!” Or, “Look at the buds! They are just about to open!” Or, “Oh my gosh, look over there!” “Can you believe this neighborhood? Look at all of the colors!”
In this season, I talk in exclamations.
And yes, the fall in New England is spectacular, too. It is a honeymoon/vacation destination that is booked for years in advance. I get that. But for those of us who live here, while we take day trips to look at the leaves (and there are lots of exclamations shouted during those beautiful moments, too), it also signals the end of nature’s beauty for another year. It is followed by the downward drop of temperatures and the hibernation of a people who were spoiled by beautiful sunny days, beaches, and a mostly-bug-free season of grilling out.
So, I breathe in every day of spring, and I make intentional trips, or purposely go out of my way, to watch the progress of various trees in their stages of blooming.
A couple of years ago, I also contributed to the beauty of the area.
When we moved to our home in the northeast, there was no landscaping. The area in front of our home was nothing but dirt. Up until that point, I had never explored the gardner in me. I had never eaten a vegetable that I had grown, nor taken pleasure in the flowers of a plant that I had nurtured. And now I found myself needing to spruce up our front yard.
I began by researching what plants grow well in our temperature zone. I mapped out a design, priced it out, planned what shrubs would go well within the design, decided what stones we should use to outline the area, picked out what grass we should plant, and then got to work making it happen (which meant getting my husband, my kids, and a dear friend in on the manual labor of the project).
The shrubs I picked were evergreen, flower in the spring (of course!), and hearty. One was a Japanese Andromeda, and the other was a Rhododendron with bright pink flowers.
The joy that I get from watching other peoples’ trees and shrubs bloom is NOTHING compared to watching my own shrubs bloom. Anticipation mounts within me as if I was birthing a child. And the attention given to each stage of growth borders on obsession. I study them. I rejoice in the slightest bud. I celebrate when the pink in the bud starts to show. And then it is an all-out party when the flower presents itself!
Little trivia: the picture acting as a header to my blog were last year’s blooms of the rhododendron that I planted in our front yard. In a little tiny way, it was my attempt at creating a fair haven in our lives and neighborhood.
There are a lot of spiritual parallels you can make about watching a plant flower, and maybe even a lot of parenting parallels could be made – but this post is simply about me, spring, and flowering plants. It does my soul good. It brings hope and encouragement to me. I hope it does the same for you!