Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

robinRobins and other birds are greeting me with their songs in the mornings now. The red-winged blackbirds are back, staking out their territory with a fierceness that few other birds can match. The Cardinals are singing “What cheer, spring is here” in the tree tops, and the woodpeckers are busily starting on their summer headaches as they tap on trees for food and shelter. Facebook Walls are buzzing with posts about beautiful days, the need to buy sunscreen and other exclamations about the end of winter.

I see signs of spring in my family’s behavior. My daughter has achieved her first skinned knee of the season, and if this year is anything like last year, at least one knee will be scuffed up everyday for the next five or six months. She cries to go outside, and cries when it’s time to come back in.

My husband is acting bizarrely these days, a sure sign of spring fever. On his way to get the newspaper, he detoured in the garage to start the lawn mower. When I opened the back door to see what on earth was going on, there he was, perched atop the John Deere, smiling back at me with a big toothy grin—like a little boy saying “Hey, look at me!” The smell of grass clippings seemed to return him to a boyish youth.

Later I walked into the kitchen only to find my husband standing on a chair dusting the kitchen ceiling fan. Our daughter was intermittently spraying orange oil on the floor and dragging a chair into the kitchen so that she could climb up and help Daddy (Agghhh!). The dusting of the ceiling fan blades precipitated more activity because standing on top of a chair gave my husband a better view of all the dust that had been out of sight and out of mind for the last, oh, five years. We laundered curtains, washed a couple of windows and gave the stove top a thorough cleaning.

Spring is a season of dramatic transformation. The rush of full creeks and streams replaces the hush of winter snows. The first grilled burgers of the warm weather fill our noses as the simmering pots of chili become winter memories. We shed our layers of coats, scarves and hats and replace them with layers of sunscreen, sunglasses and bug spray. We purge the junk from our basement, garages and attics and let the sun shine into our homes through newly cleaned windows.

Spring has sprung indeed, and as the world transforms around me, I wonder what changes I can make in my life that will renew and refresh. I am still working on increasing my daily hug intake; that has been very rewarding so far. I have also started an exercise program with a friend a work; I certainly hope that will be transformative, physically and mentally. But what can I do that would really capture the transformative power of spring? How can I wake up from my winter slumber and sing like the birds? How can I emerge from the frozen ground and color the world like the tulips and daffodils? How can my nature become one with the Nature around me?

What can each one of us do to capture some springtime transformation? For some it will be celebrating an Easter miracle. For others it may be planting and nurturing a garden. For others it may be a simple act of kindness or outreach to a person in need. However you manage to express springtime transformation, rest assured that when you do, the world will be a little better for it, and you can join with the cardinal in announcing “What cheer, spring is here.”

© 2009 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

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