Monday, April 11, 2011

Evening on the Verge of Spring

March 18, 2011

When finally the snows of winter had left us by late March, the barren ground was once again visible. Beginning the day after Christmas, we the white blanket piled up week by week in snows that never seemed to end.

March 18th, in the still bitterly cold evening, I caught this view in Boston's Public Garden. In the foreground is dry lagoon. The afterglow of sunset is visible down the axis of Newbury Street, puncuated by the tower of the Church of the Covenant.

Spring officially is officially here in 3 days. But the real rebirth of spring is a few week away, after we endure yet another April Fool's Day snow!

The Almost Spring

Spring officially begins with the equinox on March 21st. But in New England, winter is still roaring, its cold winds blowing over snow-covered fields and around the urban canyons, as the people scurry about clad in parkas, scarves and wool hats.

But sometimes in late March, or at least in early April, the season of “Almost Spring” arrives. There are the first signs of live re-emerging from the barren brown earth.

This is one of my favorite moments of the year. The potential energy of nature is at its greatest. It’s as though everything is almost ready to bloom, but instead nature carefully tests the air. A few crocuses emerge, flowering close to the brown soil finally feeling the distinctive warmth of a spring sun. Stronger in intensity than the winter sun, the radiant warmth is lost in the chilled air, trying but not yet succeeding in escaping winter’s grasp.

The trees bud, but are not ready to leaf out. This is the shy half of spring.

Come the second half of April, the shyness passes. All manner of trees and flowering shrubs and spring flowers burst forth. Before May Day, the trees will be fully leafed out.

But, these first weeks of April are when we can take hope from all the potential of beauty that surrounds us. Life is rebirth in spring, for nature, and for me.

Below: The crocuses, first flowers of spring, stay low to the otherwise barren earth. A warm day may be followed by a snowy day, in the Amost Spring.
Below: In a classic rural farmland vista 35 miles north of Boston, the brown fields are finally visible after months of dormancy under its white winter blanket. No color is visible in the Almost Spring.
Below: The plump red buds of the maple tree in front of my home, in contrast the the bright blue sky of the Amost Spring.
Below: Green buds on the sapling in the foreground and the yellow buds of the great willow in the background. We are only a week or so from everthing leafing out.