Welcome, spring

I’m making friends with early morning again. We get re-acquainted each spring when the sun’s rays poke through the window of our bedroom and coax me early from under my blankets. Sometimes I wander over to that window and sing a Sonny Salsbury sung I learned long ago:

“Good morning, Lord. It’s great to see the sun again. Good morning, Lord! I breathe the morning fragrance in. Each day’s a flower, and while it blooms, I’ll trust its care to you. That’s why I say as it begins, Good morning Lord!”

Hope House, as we call our home, has a lovely large yard. An early morning walkabout has become a favourite spring ritual. Sometimes the Preacher and I, arm in arm, wander the property together, checking on spring’s progress.

Outside the garden door to my office, the thermometer reads five below zero. I type these words slowly, my fingers stiff from touching spring. A splash of vivid moss on old timber shadowing a lingering remnant of snow. A lilac bud reaching for the sky. Crumpled rhubarb leaves busting through their red birth nubs.

That’s how spring unfolds here in Canada’s prairie – in the cold. I pity warmer climates where it simply kicks the temperature up a notch or two. I’d miss the tulips poking through iron-hard soil to flaunt their green amidst late snow or winter’s dreary deadfall. Spring’s promise whispers clearest amidst life’s colder moments.

The promise shouted this morning. In the sky, a crow, a mallard, a flock of exuberant Canada geese. A robin, finding the ground too frozen for the worm, cheerfully pecked at the hanging suet. (I have tasted spring myself. Mint and parsley, wintered inside, ready for planting. Spears of green onions and chives, already six inches above the soil in the gardens.)

Flowers recognize the season too. So do the grandbeans. “Nana, LOOK what I found! Just LOOK!” Six-year-old Sherah has twice now discovered blooming pansies hiding under the same rock in the front foundation garden. She has an affinity for both – flowers and rocks.

We all like rocks in our family. Most of us, even our son Anthony, home visiting, spent a pleasant afternoon a few weeks ago tossing stones in water. Watching the ripples broaden and spread and mingle with other ripples – just because we could. Because after the long cold and dark season, being outside and breathing without spears in your throat and chest feels sublime. It softens one, somehow. Warms and tenderizes from the inside out, reminding me of another song I sung as a youth. A prayer I have once more made my own. If you spy on me on an early morning walkabout, you may even hear me singing it:

“Lord to my heart bring back the springtime. Take away the cold and dark of sin. Refill me now, sweet Holy Spirit. May I warm and tender be again.” (Kurt Kaiser)

Blessings of spring to you – inside and out.