Appalachian Thursday – Signs of Spring
Every year a few hardy daffodils jump the gun and bloom in February.
Every year we act surprised.
Somehow it seems too soon, but I’ve looked back at notes from five years ago and this is nothing new. Every February the daffodils unfurl seemingly fragile yellow petals. Crocuses appear like someone scattered them in the night while we were sleeping. Sometimes there’s even a buttercup or dandelion smiling up at me from the dead lawn. And this year, the temperatures have veered wildly into the 70s trying to make us think spring is well and truly here.
But I try not to get TOO excited. I can’t help but remember how we often have at least one snow in April and I want to warn my flowers to take a steadying breath and wait.
At the same time, I love seeing signs of spring. I love getting hints that soft, warm days are right around the corner. The ultimate Appalachian harbingers of spring is, of course, peepers. For a week now I’ve been hearing them each morning and evening in the swampy spot down by the creek. A chorus cheering spring on even if it IS too soon.
Because we’re still going to have some icy, wintry, northern days before it’s time to complain about the heat again. More than once I’ve seen apple blossom bitten back by a late frost. The old timers look at the daffodils and shake their heads. “We’ll have winter, yet,” they say.
I have a terrible habit of looking for “signs” in every area of my life. The catch is, I spend too much time looking for signs and not nearly enough living in the moment. I’m too busy trying to guess what comes next. Planning and anticipating can be good things, but they can also become debilitating. Spring and the future will both come when they’re ready.
In God’s own good time.