01 May 2008


Spring has firmly arrived here:  the days are staying warm, and the rain rain rain that dominated until last week seems to have gone (at least for the moment). Oddly, I've always loved spring.  I guess it doesn't sound odd when you say, "I've always loved spring," but my reason for loving it is kind of odd.  Spring has always seemed to me the one thing that demonstrates the complete amazingness of nature.  In fact, it's the one thing that truly makes me believe there might be a God.  Everything is dead.  I mean really dead.  And then, all of a sudden, everything is a poignant, crystal-clear, living green.  I love the first spring leaves on trees, because their green seems to me to really and truly fit the word "tender."  It's rare to find a word that actually describes what you're seeking to describe, but "tender" perfectly describes the first leaves of spring.  

And that tender green colour is to me beautiful, and the more beautiful because each leaf seems somehow etched precisely against the blue sky.  I walk through spring and I literally can't believe it, every year.  It catches me with disbelief every time.

Also, people have started to mow their lawns for the first time this year.  I do believe cut grass might be my favourite smell in the whole wide world. Followed closely by the smell of hay, or in other words...dry cut grass. Hay smells so sweet and, like cut grass, so unlike anything other than itself.  Yay for hay, I say!

Wow, and I always say I hate nature. I think I better not say that anymore. I think what I actually dislike is the aimlessness of most going out in nature:  the way people stop and look at vistas that are essentially identical as if each one were different; ambling about generally.  I am a purposive person, and I think most wandering about in nature seems to me strikingly UNpurposive. So I'm not much for it. Although, funnily, I do like tromping about in inclement weather. Mud, chill, rain - I'm happy to be out and about in all that.  And, apparently, I'm also happy to be out in the wonderment that is spring.

Slightly more mature trees:

And, because spring always makes me think of this poem, here is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed.  Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell:  the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and ah! bright wings.

Sing it, Sister!

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