Spring came early this year, morphing from an unusually warm winter into summer-like temperatures that refuse to give way to more moderate days. Even so, it’s officially spring, a time for the rebirth and the growth of new things. The trees are bringing out new leaves in a wonderful, ethereal green, the maple trees are busy pumping out baby airplanes, and Yoshino cherry trees are covered with clouds of blossoms that shift from white to shell-pink and back again.
Do they seem to glow
Against that blue dome of sky?
I can’t think of anyone who dislikes this season, but for us it is an especially joyous time. In March we celebrate three birthdays: that of a grand daughter, a daughter in law, and a son.
Isn’t that reason for joy? Yes, and yes, and yes again!
The youngest of the March trio was born a full dozen years ago on March 10, an especially propitious day because my Uncle Harry (of whom I have written many times) was born on March 9 back in the 19TH century. I remember that as I held this small, compact baby girl for the first time, I thought of the jonquil, which is the March flower. Small, elegant in gold and white, feet planted gamely against March winds… yes, that was our new grand daughter.
Our March daughter in law is the family sculptor—apt for a season full of promise and energy. For Spring is nothing if not imaginative, painting azaleas the color of snow or fire and urging lazy streams to gurgle into life. It torches up Carolina blue skies to make them crackle with lightning yet delicately tints Robin’s eggs blue. What better season for our artist?
And then, there is our older son. Like all families, we spin a long-winded tale about his birth. We speak of how my husband was then stationed with the military in Bangkok, Thailand, and how I joined him when I was seven months pregnant. We describe how we were car-less and lived miles away from the hospital. We relate how, in anticipation of The Day, we borrowed a car which could not go over twenty miles an hour without developing an alarming shimmy. We laugh at how that car rattled and banged and shook on that day, how the gate of the hospital was locked, and how the old gatekeeper had misplaced his keys, and mumbled and clanked and kept us waiting for fifteen stressful minutes!
All of this is family history. We don’t often mention, though, that within the commonly told version of the story is another one that is as miraculous and as sweet as spring itself. This is the story of how, on March 21, 1963, a small and howling baby boy was placed in my arms. With him came a sense of wonder. Here was a new being, unique. He had a headful of dark hair and there was a soft peach-fuzz all over his body. I didn’t need to take inventory to know that he was perfect!
So in this season, while the world gives thanks for the end of winter, our family celebrates three birthdays— each a gift and a thing of wonder. And I marvel anew at the beauty and the mystery of this thing we call life.
Soft rustle of wind,
Gentle murmur of water…
Yes, spring is reborn.