Harbingers of Spring

…and I wonder if the Spring, like you, won’t come back next year.JE

The harbinger

In four decades, through times both cynical and mystic, early manifestations of spring have always touched me. I never think to look for them; they always catch me unawares. This year, I was set upon by a bush on the east side of my house. It sports nondescript foliage during the summer, and is naught but bare sticks through most of the winter. Though March has just begun and only the earliest of daffodils are yet in bloom in my garden, I chased Matthew around the side of the house a day or two ago and was taken by the explosion of tiny yellow flowers completely covering last week’s bare branches. I felt what I seem to feel anew every year, that sense of rebirth, the comforting inevitability of the passage of time.

I was particularly taken aback this year, because it has been a season of great loss. Puck, my cat and faithful companion of 14 years, disappeared in December. My stepfather is gravely ill. Three patients died unexpectedly. None of these losses, even, were the most poigniant. That the simple brilliance of a common garden shrub could restore my faith seemed to be nothing short of miraculous.

On reflection, though, are not time and faith all we have to heal us from loss? We must endure, preferably even revel in, the struggle and hope that the future brings understanding — maybe even meaning — to the losses.

I choose to take the time. Now I am off to find the faith.

— Ron – 04 Mar 2005