Spring bursts over Tennessee suddenly, like someone pushed a trigger and life explodes around us. Our winters are mild and very tentative most times. There may be only one or two storms a year that blanket our rolling hills with white, and even then, the covering is usually thinner than half an inch. Winter is a time punctuated by inconsistency. It may be so desperately cold one day that a person must wear their winter coats inside only to be followed by a day in shorts and flip flops.
When I look out the window and see the tender green sprouts start to shoot out from underneath the brown Bermuda grass there is a sense of hope. There is a general feeling of renewal and rebirth in spring that you don’t feel any other time a year. Spring is the season of life before the burning summer sun scorches the dry earth into submission.
Though I stand under the cool winter night now, soon I will lounge out in the warm sun, feel the rays soak into my pale, sunshine-starved skin. It won’t be too hot yet and the sunlight won’t meet my face and decide to sting it red as a reprimand for slinking around inside for the last six months. I do enjoy the look of spring, and the warmth of the nearing equinox driving away the shivering of Polar Vortexes that have frozen the land for the last few months. Spring has a certain energy about it, like you can almost feel the thrumming of life vibrate the air, thickening and intensifying with each passing day. Soon the world will burst with color, the dry twigs on the dogwood trees suddenly erupting with crimson flowers and the shoots of thousands of bright yellow daffodils will claw through the earth and bask in the sun.
The streams will gurgle with fresh spring showers as the lifeless yards of suburbia will be transformed into a hive of desperate activity as bags of fertilizer and seeds fill every minivan. Children will begin protesting attempts by their mothers to make them wear jackets outside and will most certainly catch the plague as a result. Millions of allergy sufferers across the nation will feel their hearts seize in terror as they now must face the dreaded spring allergies with all the stuffy noses, hacking coughs, and loud sneezing such a season entails. College students embark on their week of debauchery and/or studying. Easter paraphernalia has long since invaded all the stores; as soon as the Christmas supplies are shelved, out come the bunny-shaped chocolates. People emerge from the darkness of their winter caves and begin spring cleaning. The world is awake with optimism and activity.
Winter and all its worries melt away like the snow. A fresh new feeling takes root in the heart. The slumbering stumbling in the dark is over and it is time to step out into the sun again, regain your consciousness. The world is stirring with action and it is time for you to flurry with life once more. The sun is bright and the air is thick and it is time to move and leave the winter nights behind.
I take one last sad glance at the darkened winter sky, so clear and cold, the stars shining out through the thin bracing air with a certain clarity that cannot be paralleled. They look like someone’s taken a bag full of diamonds and flung them across velvet. Winter is confining but freeing in a strange sort of comforting way. Nothing is immediate and everything seems to slow down when the air is frozen.
But spring is here and life must move on. It is time to leave the mysterious winter stars and let the sun rise over the world, bringing with it the hustle of spring.