Spring, taking me once again by surprise

April 11th, 2011

Spring explodes in Switzerland. Is it like this everywhere, the way the green seems to reach critical mass overnight? I watch for signs of spring, I mark them: the first crocuses, the snowdrops, the first daffodil, the sap rising in the rose bushes turning the stems maroon and then the first curling leaves. I watch out my window as the willow tree begins to yellow, blend to pale green. I am not blind to these individual signs of spring, but Spring itself takes me surprise every year. I swear it comes overnight. Is it like this everywhere? This explosion of green, this all-or-nothing, this no more here and there signs of spring but spring, full and dominant.

Everything is green. It happens overnight. I watch for it and yet I miss it, the turning. How is it possible, with all the watching, all the hints and clues, how is it that it still happens overnight? Everything is green. There are leaves on the willow tree, our two plum trees have already blossomed and shed their petals in an orgy of fleeting beauty, nature’s flash mob, and the more sedate apple trees are budding. The fields are green with wheat, the farmers are out planting potatoes in their distinctive raised rows, the Raps (rapeseed, used to make canola oil) are almost full grown and yesterday I think I saw the first yellow flowers, and if you’ve never seen a field of Raps in full bloom you’re missing one of spring’s most wondrous wonders.

Is it like this everywhere, the surprise of it all? The forsythia are everywhere yellow (and the Swiss do love their forsythia), the tulips are coming, the grass is green, the roses are putting out leaves, it is spring, spring, wild full spring banishing memories of the bare brown fields as if they had never existed. On days like this, perhaps for a lost soul like mine only on days like this,  I can almost understand the resurrection story. On a day like today, I can almost believe that the dead shall rise again, life rising again like sap. It is spring, and everything around me is alive again, and in spite of all the watching and all the hints, it is as if it happened overnight. Life, wild and irrepressible.

Is it like this where you live? Does spring come like this where you live, come one night while you are sleeping so that when you wake winter is so surely banished it is hard to imagine winter ever covered the land? What is it like, right now, outside your window, where you live?