Posted by: A Part of the Solution | April 13, 2010

Early Spring, part II

It’s hard to stay cranky about the early spring we’ve been having. I’ve tried. I’m pissy about losing all the daffodils so quickly to the excessive heat of last week. I’m irate that the Japonica quince is nearly over before it even began. I’m not as irked over the forsythia having an early spring. They’re so big, and just so… so yellow. I can forgive them for having succumbed to an unseasonable season. And now, much against my will, I’m beginning to thaw towards the early spring.

I’m still counting on some late frosts in the last week of the month. I’m still wondering about sullen, overcast and chilly May. I’ve seen them before like that when April was too close to a wonderland. There’s something in the essential balance of the season. Let alone the balance in the seasons as a whole. But right now, I’m talking about early spring;–and too early at that.

But how can I resist the lure of the untimely warmth when I’ve got white lilacs and antique lilacs and modern hybrid lilacs all making that irresistible smell? Who has the strength of character, the courage of their convictions to withstand the blandishments of the humble, ephemeral, ineffable lily of the valley? Where else would I have all this in my yard, and peonies just initiating the nearly intimate unfurlings of their earliest shoots? What would I replace the lure of the mature redbud with? Heck, there’s a dogwood down by the road in the front yard just going into its crouch. I can hardly wait. Why would I want to trade blossoming tulips for grey, chilly days?

. The caprices of the weather across the mid-Atlantic region are legendary. This comes of our connection to the largest tidal estuary in the world. The Chesapeake Bay gives us the weather we have. Right now, some how, it is in part responsible for this glorious too sudden springtime. I fear it will be like the lightening, gone ere it should lighten.

Early springs not immediately blighted by frost are rare in my experience. Time has taught me not to expect miracles from the climate. But with winter so unexpected and unparalleled in its precipitations, I almost allow myself to feel some small sliver of hope that this spring will continue: willy-nilly, unchecked by averages, glorious in its particulars and nostalgic as it occurs.

I almost believe I earned the weather of this year so far. The last two years, caught in limbo between housing situations and with the world economy in free-fall around us, have been for us what they have been for anyone and everyone. Now we’re under a different kind of stress as we work to prove ourselves at fresh endeavors in new enterprises.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ve earned this spring. Maybe our dreams really will come true without our leaving the perquisite blood, sweat and tears on the beachheads of our ambition. I don’t anticipate an uninterrupted early spring. But I can’t resist the imagining of it.



  1. PICTURES!!!!!!

    • I have to figure out how to get them from the camera onto the computer (new computer).

  2. Also – Your forsythia is blooming NOW? Concurrent with the lilacs? That sounds late to me, not early.

    Maybe it’s not “late spring”, but “whacked spring”.

    • The forsythia should be out. It’s the lilacs that are early, really early.

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