By Bruce Stambaugh
Spring! It’s a word that rolls off our tongues with joy and passion. I give thanks for this vibrant, vernal season, especially after the long, cold winter too many of us had to endure.
This past winter surely tested our patience. But patient we must be. As much as we welcome springtime into our lives, she, too, can be fickle and bring mixed messages. Much like fall, springtime weather can embody all four seasons. Still, let’s give thanks for springtime.
I realize that in our North American society, Thanksgiving is reserved for the fall. Canadians annually celebrate their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. U.S. citizens wait until the fourth Thursday in November.
The Thanksgiving holidays acknowledge all that we have. The reflective focus is on the harvest, glad to have reaped the benefits of all the hard labor used to produce the yield. But we also need to be thankful for the spring. There are no apples without the blossoms and the pollinators.
I’m grateful for springtime even though some years, like this year, she takes her good old time making her presence known. Still, I say, let’s all express our thanks for spring’s debut.
Spring’s arrival creates a variety of reasons to rejoice often based on where you live and what activities ensue. Much action has an agricultural bent. Suburbanites will gas up their lawn mowers for the first of many rounds around the yard. City dwellers will pot tomatoes, peppers, and petunias to baby on their balconies.
More ambitious gardeners with sufficient plots of land will plant their seeds and seedlings, always keeping a wary eye on any frosty forecast. Flowerbeds will be mulched, windows washed, and if time allows, neighborly visits will resume right where they left off last fall.
Songbirds fill the twilight with concertos. Dormant lawns, long browned from winter’s sting, green up from an overnight shower. Azaleas, daffodils, dogwoods, redbuds, and forsythia brighten the awakening landscape. Shouts of children riding bicycles or skateboards echo through neighborhoods regardless of setting.
For all of this, I am thankful. Why not? It is the season of renewal, and after the winter that wouldn’t end we all need a breath of fresh air, we all need to inhale those sweet fragrances, we all need to enjoy each moment as the bees, birds, and butterflies reappear.
No matter how long spring takes to settle in to fit our particular comfort level, we should be most thankful that the season of hope and renewal is upon us. In keeping with that regeneration, it’s good to express our thanks to others each and every opportunity we can. Share your joy with others the way a mother robin cares for its young. Spouse, plumber, daughter, son, grandkids, stranger, receptionist, parents, waitress, checkout person, or whomever you meet will do.
Life is in a constant state of change. Spring is that reminder to us to embrace not just the new season, but life itself. The message of the purple crocuses is to put away your fears. Spring is here. Life is good.
Without the season of renewal, there can be no harvest. At this sacred time of year, let our thankfulness replicate our gratitude for life itself, the life we have lived, are living, and the experiences yet to come.
I’m thankful for spring’s freshness, its vibrancy, virility, brightness, and renewed blessings. Life’s eternal cycle of renewal has returned once again. Let’s rejoice and be glad in it!
© Bruce Stambaugh 2018