In Search of Spring

I went out in search of spring again this year.   Some might call this 
search simply “Spring Fever”, which seems to be a malady that is 
brought on by another ailment known as “Cabin Fever”. 
In turn, “Cabin fever” is supposedly caused by winter
or the inability to be outside very much.

The search for spring gives no prior warning and doesn’t always 
happen according to the calendar at the vernal equinox. 
There is just a strong prompting from within that causes an intense 
desire to go searching.  This prompting usually happens on an 
exceptionally warm day filled with sunshine.

My search for spring first began when I was a child.  Even then, 
springtime was my favorite time of the year.  It was exhilarating 
to shed my winter coat for the first time and then to run outside with abandonment into the freedom of a warm spring day. 

Like a little detective, I began my search for spring by exploring 
the backyard for any sign of new life.  I looked for plants pushing 
their way up through the soil and I searched for the return of the 
robin family and their nest of blue eggs.  I was never disappointed 
in my search for spring. 

I found spring in the yellow blossoms of the forsythia bush and 
in the daffodils, tulips, and jonquils, as they seemed to smile up
at me from the flowerbeds.  I found spring in the asparagus tips 
near the garden that had pushed their way through the sod and
I even welcomed the dandelions scattered here and there as 
I blew the fuzz off of a few already gone to seed.

I found that spring had literally burst forth in the blossoms of 
blooming lilacs as I bent toward them to inhale their fragrance. 
The redbud and pear trees were also dressed in all their glory 
while other trees tightly held their buds for a later time.

I loved the tiny blue violets that I would search for in the backyard 
and upon the cellar mound.  I would pick some of them and bring them
inside to put in Momma’s “flower bowl”.  This was a small glass vase 
with holes in the top. I would put the flower stems in the holes and 
then place the dish in the center of the dining room table. 
I thought the simple little bouquet must surely 
be the loveliest in the land.

One clue led to another in my search.  A cat that became 
skinny overnight was always an exciting clue and my search would 
usually end in finding spring in the corner of the hayloft as 
I stroked new baby kittens snuggled in the hay.

When we search for life, we find it.  Sometimes it’s a surprise 
that we didn’t expect at all like a crocus blooming beneath the snow. 
Farmers and ranchers see new life in the green of the winter wheat 
and in the baby colts and calves entering the world upon wobbly legs.

Spring fever is a condition for which the only cure is found in 
being immersed in the sights, sounds, and the fragrance of spring. 

Perhaps we search for spring because we need it so desperately. 
We open up the windows of our houses to let the newness of the 
clean fresh air and sunshine flow into our homes.    Just as we need 
to allow the fresh air and sunshine to refresh a stale house, so we 
need the same for our stale spirit. 

We see new life around us all the time but we are especially aware 
of it in the springtime.  This year I saw it in the sunrise on Easter Sunday 
as the new day’s sun began to rise, causing the grass to glisten in the 
rosy first light.  I looked up and as I watched the sun coming up over 
the horizon, I remembered a line from an old song that says, 
“Open up your heart and let the sunshine in”.   It was a special moment
and in that instant I understood the search for spring.  I knew that 
if we will but allow our hearts to open and receive him, 
the same God who created that awesome sunrise 
desires to live in our hearts. 

"For lo, the winter is past; 
the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come, 
and the voice of the turtledove 
 is heard in our land.” 
(Song of Songs 2:11-12)

Pamela Perry Blaine
© April 2004