|Art by Michak Mraz|
The rain came in the night, just a whisper on the roof - if you weren’t listening you might miss it, so accustomed had your ears become to the breath of winter.
But here – a different sound, breeze soughing in from the east and calling through the pines like a mourning dove.
And by morning, it was a shout, a crescendo - great sheets of water spilling from a sky the color of mushrooms and forget-me-nots, the tame little village creek bullying and bruising its banks. Willow branches whipped as though the very hand of God stirred them, gutters regurgitated last autumn’s rubble and oldsters began their soliloquy of floods-gone-by.
And then . . . look – the sun.
Puddle-stomping now. The little kids wearing boots, the big kids in tennis shoes and not caring. Ride your bike through the run-off at the base of the hill, sail your milk-jug boat in the swollen ditches, steal your father’s canoe. Feel the cold and clammy winter-fingers clutching the nape of your neck and call it heat. Shed your coat even if it means goosebumps and runny noses.
It is spring and we are alive.
Farmers - to the fields! Squeeze the dirt in your fist, smell the richness, the damp. Lift your chin to the sky and watch for rain, turn the soil, fill the planter boxes. Twenty-four hours a day is not enough time because spring is here.
Nature freaks – to the hills! The bluebells are coming! Tiny spring beauties, blue-eyed Mary peering past her white petals, Dutchmen swarming the hill like a miniature army. Smell the skunk cabbage, sink your feet in the mud, search for the early morel. Dandelions! Pluck them by the handful, sniff them until your nose is yellow. Present them to your mother and she’ll set them in a mason jar on the kitchen table even though they’ll droop by night fall.
It doesn’t matter. It’s spring.
Church people – to your churches! Your Jesus is coming just as surely as the wind changed direction last night. Catholics, get your ashes, eat your fish. Baptists read your bibles. Christians everywhere, get ready, get ready. Dance and sing and be happy together. Hallelujah hallelujah, He lives.
He lives and so do we