Spring’s annual resurrection has come to the Ozarks, and as is her way, she’s sprinkled her pixie dust over the dry bones of winter. The red buds have woken; she’s uncorked the sweet and sour perfume of the Bradford Pear trees. She’s called the songbirds back from Mexico, or Texas, or wherever. She’s cleaned up the boughs, prepared a place for them. Each morning I hear the cardinals and robins singing as if every tree were an avian cabaret.
The air is thick with the spring’s hope, and as I’m prone to do each year, I find myself prone to the spring questions. (Sung to the tunes of the songbirds.)
How can a cardinal be so chipper?
How do I describe the new, almost Laffy-Taffy purple of the young redbud?
Where do tiger lilies come from; how do they seem to spring from nowhere each year?
How can I observe this season with intention?
How can I stay present to it?
That last question–the question of presence–it is the trickiest one. And yet, this is the first and best spring of 2017. It will come with new life, give birth to summer, then pass like the mother mayfly. This fleeting season deserves presence, attention, examination, observation.
If a season visits and the people fail to observe it, what was its visitation but an exercise in the perfunctoriness of nature and the incurious self-centeredness of men?
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