Spring is here, and our northern areas are encountering the almost-forgotten sights and sounds of this gently blustering season. There are whitecapped millponds, stretching and tossing after their icy hibernations; pussy willows sunning themselves like wise kittens; and increasingly frequent flashes of bright birds back home after their vacation down South.
There’s the first faintly perceptible yellowing of bare-limbed maples beginning to get dressed in their cool summer green; snow banks of spiraea blossoms making believe that winter has come back; lines of Monday-morning wash whipping like bright flags under the high-riding sun.
There’s the sound of peepers in springtime pools, reminding us that even April can get a little frog in her throat in such changeable weather; the drip of maple sap from a boy-broken tree branch and the back-to-work buzzing of bees; the chirping of newly hatched chicks; the eager rush and gurgle of city gutters and country trout streams; the satisfying crack of the first clean-hit ball and the mud sucking sound of boys’ shoes, unfettered by galoshes, as they play catch in a soggy field.
There’s a new ring to Sunday church bells, unhurried but clear over the balmy air, telling us that perhaps it is not yet irrevocably later than we think, that there is always a new beginning, another chance for our sad old world, one more hope for us all.