Springs are not always the same. In some years, April bursts upon Virginia hills in one prodigious leap – and all the stage is filled at once, whole choruses of tulips, arabesques of forsythia, cadenzas of flowering plum. The trees grow leaves overnight.
In other years, spring tiptoes in. It pauses, overcome by shyness, like my grandchild at the door, peeping in, ducking out of sight, giggling in the hallway. “I know you’re out there,” I cry. “Come in!” And April slips into our arms.
The dogwood bud, pale green, is inlaid with russet markings. Within the perfect cup a score of clustered seeds are nestled. One examines the bud in awe: Where were those seeds a month ago? The apples display their milliner’s scraps of ivory silk, rose-tinged. All the sleeping things wake up – primrose, baby iris, blue phlox. The earth warms – you can smell it, feel it, crumble April in your hands.
Look to the rue anemone, if you will, or the pea patch, or to the stubborn weed that thrusts its shoulders through a city street. This is how it was, is now, and ever shall be, the world without end. In the serene certainty of spring recurring, who can fear the distant fall?