The birds are playful in the early mornings of spring. I watch them engage each other in tag, diving and leaping. Their chirps are careless joy. They move the morning’s melody, their wings turning the sheet music, but they know it by heart. I want to be a bird.
I think I can hear the soil breathing sighs of relief. See it swell like a heaving chest and fall. It’s soft and pliable and ready to receive. Rain makes a way for tools and hands to reach deep, for footprints to sink in and establish. Cultivation is a phenomenon that my brain finds great interest in. We are all gardens.
I see the bulbs emerging. They are a new green. The green that refreshes weary winter eyes. The brown is fading, returning to the soil and giving a quiet farewell. It feeds the color that’s coming, giving its last nutrients as a parting gift. Thank you, barrenness, for making a way for beauty to spring forth.
The weeds are always present. Part of the mosaic and exercise. Part of the labor that ushers in life. They aren’t villains, but rather, viable. Essential for strengthening hands and backs. Necessary to cultivate in me the vigilance to pull on. To go deeper. To expose and uproot even further.
Forsythia is budding and blazing. I think the most vibrant colors come with spring because they are most appreciated then. Most welcome, like the sun after months of hiddenness. I believe sweet is the most delectable after the bitter; warmth, a blanket of comfort only after frigid temps; the dawn of day, a sight for strained eyes that have been peering through the dark. There are things we simply can’t appreciate without the antonyms preceding them. Maybe it’s hindsight. Whatever the case, gratitude is born there. We don’t know what we have until it’s gone.
I’ve got the fever that comes with spring. I’m aching to sow and grow. Engage both hands, both sides of my brain, in something that yields a return. Something that produces life and the sustenance for life. I can feel warm soil between my toes and it speaks grounding peace to every cell in my body. Maybe a garden isn’t this to all. It is for me. It is an Eden, by proxy. A sliver of silver lining that beckons me to hope beyond hope. For things unseen. For things sown in faith. For things that grow through mystery, and with the gift of time. For the full grown goodness of little, that breaks open unto much. This is faith, yes? This is cultivation. This is life.