Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunny Days

Last night’s snow looked like spray-on flock, the kind you can buy at Christmas to add a wintry touch to decorations. But it had little time to celebrate as the morning sun melted it away, giving a long drink to tulips and redbuds.

What a great day for a walk so I laced on my sneakers and headed outside. This time of year, everything looks brighter, more detailed than in winter. In winter, everything looks smudged, devoid of color except for the usual earthy browns, cold grays, stark blacks. Maybe it’s the angle of the sun, maybe it’s just that color is returning to the world again, but everything looked clearer, more vivid than it did just a few weeks ago.

The wind harbored a hint of winter chill but the sun was warm on my face. It reminded me of growing up in Indiana this time of year. Actually, this time of year in Indiana comes a few weeks later than it does here in the Ozarks so it really reminded me of Indiana in mid-April. That’s when it felt as though the long stretch of short days and overcast skies had finally passed, that it was time to oil baseball gloves, shove winter coats to the back of the closet and reacquaint ourselves with t-shirts and shorts. School days would pass soon enough though never soon enough for a student and we would find ourselves at the uphill end of another warm summer full of play, adventure, bike rides, swings and completely void of the stress, the strain of learning.

Early spring was a period of time-lapse photography because the world seemed to have suddenly picked up steam. We saw it happen then as we do now. Trees that were nothing more than sticks arranged to look like branches overnight grew buds that blossomed then produced leaves in no more time than they did in the documentaries we watched in class. Bare earth one morning gave way to jonquils then hyacinths then tulips all in a matter of seconds, or so it seemed in the early part of spring. Lawns greened and people started coming out of their houses again to look at them, and to soak in the color that had been so lacking in their winter solitude.

And finally, a day like today, a day so full of promise that winter had passed and spring was with us at last.

This is the best time of year, and a time of year we are blessed to see in all the seasons of our own lives, a time when we bear witness to the rebirth of nature.