Growing up in Louisa – Spring at Last!
Weekly feature . . . by Mike Coburn
Even the promise of spring is welcome to those of us that have slipped and slid through one of the whitest winters of record. No doubt this brought on a little bit of cabin fever, but spring brings with it an attitude of rebirth and a promise of warmer days and the fun sure to follow. When I was a kid growing up, this was a time to get out the old catcher’s mitt and oil it up in anticipation of the season’s first pitch. I recalled the sound of the ball striking the pocket with a slap heard all around the ball park.
I remember the crocus with their delicate blooms, pushing out of the ground to brighten our world with color. Color was the difference I decided once. Never mind the temperatures or warm breezes, it was God’s celebration with color that delighted me. Those little flowers would usher in their older cousins, the daffodils that would line paths, driveways and porches. Solid yellow, or yellow with white trim would announce at once that the lady of the house had troubled herself to plant the bulbs showing this was a civilized abode that enjoyed nature’s beauty. These little garden flowers were but the first movement of a grand symphony that would burst out all around us, turning our heads at the majesty of the composition. It wouldn’t be but a few measures before larger displays of flowering trees would crescendo with pear, cherry, tulip poplar, and dogwood. But even as these opened in full bloom the azaleas would join the orchestra even as lilies would repeat theme of the earlier song and the gardens would burst in a grand finale of pleasure.
These little garden flowers were but the first movement of a grand symphony that would burst out all around us, turning our heads at the majesty of the composition. It wouldn’t be but a few measures before larger displays of flowering trees would crescendo with pear, cherry, tulip poplar, and dogwood. But even as these opened in full bloom the azaleas would join the orchestra even as lilies would repeat theme of the earlier song and the gardens would burst in a grand finale of pleasure.
One of my favorite memories was the smell of fresh cut grass that almost always had wild, green onions in the mix. This, followed by a light spring shower, would take me to a place I could be in solitude and glory in the wonders of life. Those times was so sweet.
Alas, life is full of interruptions, isn’t it? After all, life must go on. It is suddenly time for this or for that. A friend shows up unexpectedly, or a grownup called us to a chore. It isn’t enough to trim the bushes but one must pick up the debris. In every life there is trimming and raking, but in His wisdom he lets us smell the flowers.
Time for early crops and the planting of seed to create the plant starts we’d need for the summer garden. Whether a cold frame, a greenhouse, or a sunny window, little tomato plants are ready for a trip that will take them into adulthood. This is when they, too, will bloom and produce the fruit that will fulfill their purpose. It makes me wonder about my personal trip through grade school, high school, college, a career, and more careers, if the fruit is all it might have been.
There were mistakes, and there were errors for certain, but there was also a mixture of joy and a sharing of pain. From these things we have grown. We saw our springs and enjoyed the music, and rest in a peace that whether for better or worse, we have made the trip and it was sweet.
The neat thing is none of us is a symphony in ourselves. We are but one flower, or one instrument, but together we are life and everything worthwhile. Even when in distress we have known the kindness and grace of God and seen His grand work in our lives and in the lives of others.
Many of us see spring as the promise of resurrection, like an awakening from a long winter’s nap, or maybe a celebration we have made it another year. A dear friend thanks God every day for another day on planet earth. To him, spring is every morning. How wonderful that thought. Well, whatever it is to you, it is here and promises to be too good to miss. Take a breath, exhale, and open your eyes to the beauty that is to come. May it bring you peace and joy.
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