March Toward Spring

     It’s easy to read wrongly something observed in the natural world but watching a small bird with a bundle of dried grass trying to begin a nest in the crook of a tree branch, I empathized, beginnings are hard!

     Truly, that beginning looked nearly impossible, bare branches, wind, the dried grass tuft just fell down. I had never thought about how birds begin the process of making dried grass and sticks into a safe and secure repository for eggs and offspring. (Later I read about the varied methods

     Windy cold spring weather hasn’t helped the task. Inexplicably, on a Thursday in mid-March, the thermometer hit 60°, and people were giddy. In celebration I considered putting away boots and snow melt from the entryway. The next day temperatures dropped, and snow was predicted to follow the cold north wind and sleety rain.

     Nonetheless, signs of spring flash! The flicker who considers our house part of its territory ratatats with a teeth-jarring explosion on the metal chimney. On my walk I hear frogs peep their songs in pools in the woods, and plants soldier on – cherry trees blaze with pink and white – and daffodils have finally spread their yellow sunshine along roads and in gardens. On the patio, anemone bloom and the paperwhites that got nowhere on the windowsill at Christmas promise to open their papery shells. Lilies spike up – reminders of July and summer heat.

     My fantasy meadow – the small patch of sloping lawn in front of our house is abloom! It was a pleasure to leave it raggedy and unmown last year and see what would come that might please pollinators. And last fall I bought early bulbs to plant in the lawn – tête à tête daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinth, and tarda tulips – hoping they could get ahead of the grass (which never did get long). But my hands could barely get the trowel in the compacted and thickly rooted lawn –– I gave up.

     But the gardeners, Alfonso and Jesus, who tend the community property part of our little neighborhood rescued me. They made short order of the basket of bulbs, and this spring flowers dot the space. They aren’t so plentiful as in my imagination (Alfonso said: “you need more!”), but they are cheerful. And this spring, given weather and world events, any cheer is good!