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?

4 Responses to “Spring, taking me once again by surprise”

  1. CoryQ (funkomatic on tiwtter) on April 11, 2011 4:23 pm

    “an orgy of fleeting beauty, nature’s flash mob”. That is a fantastic line.

    Things are similar to this here (Minnesota) as well. The snow retreats and for onlyu a day or two does the ground look fragile and colorless like the bones of a dead bird. We had strong storms roll through on Saturday night and it was the breath of rebirth. Crocuses are now coming up and any open patch of grass that gets any sun is greening immediately. Even the lilacs are breeding from the dead land.

    Spring is not one for subtly. She doesn’t have enough time to be coquettish before he brazen sister, Summer, takes over the scene.

  2. Tracy on April 12, 2011 1:01 pm

    As I sit here and rock my 5 week old to sleep, I only hope for Spring. Outside my window I am watching the ice in the harbor slowly melt. Finally today, more water than ice. My first Spring in Helsinki and I am begging for more 40 degree days. As a former Arizona desert rat, I never thought I’d sat that.

    I love what you wrote and feel like I can see Switzerland’s Spring. Enjoy!

  3. Jennifer on April 12, 2011 6:03 pm

    Tracy, you had your baby! Congratulations! I peeked at your blog just recently looking for an update.

    Cory: love this – “She doesn’t have enough time to be coquettish before he brazen sister, Summer, takes over the scene.” True. Minnesota spring sounds like Switzerland – maybe that’s why so many Swiss emigrated there once.

  4. Tracy on April 29, 2011 1:12 pm

    Thanks, Jennifer! Ahh, the blog. Fell by the wayside with the holidays and then was on modified bed rest (just taking it really, really easy), so wasn’t outside too much and not much happening. Now, with a newborn, not much time for blogging! I hope to get back to it soon. Good thing I have such good blogs to read since I am doing it t all hours of the day and night, now!

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