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Spring has sprung, and with a vengeance. I love this time of year. I love the way that after a few days of rain and just one day of sun things seem to spring from the ground and into life like rockets. I love the way the light changes and becomes a little warmer and a little more intense and reflects off of the water and the young green of the leaves on the trees. I love the way it filters through the woods through the foliage and creates mysterious little pools of green and gold. It makes me want to paint again after the oppressive grey and white of winter. I tell myself that one day I will be able to duplicate the light perfectly, but I know it will never happen. Nothing is like the real thing, which is so real it seems too miraculous to explain, much less reproduce.
There is never a spring that bursts into the world that doesn't feel completely new to me, as if I have never seen it before. When I look at all the shades of the earth I wonder how I could have forgotten the heartbreaking beauty of it in such a short time, but I do. Perhaps not forgotten, but been unable to imprint upon my memory the intensity of it as completely as I experience it. In a way I am glad because the newness of it preserves the emotion and wonder of experiencing it again year after year and I feel as if I am seeing the subtlety of light and shade and color with new eyes and a blank canvas. Was there ever a green as green as this year? Was the foliage ever so thick and full and alive? Were there ever so many daffodils and tulips and crocuses, and were they ever so brilliant a color or so thickly carpeted across the grass? Each spring feels as if there has never been a spring before as wondrous and amazing. That is the ecstasy of it, the sense that there has been nothing to match it in the past and that you are so very fortunate to be a part of it now. It is the extraordinary contrast between the seasons that keeps you from becoming bored or jaded or simply spoiled. When the sun loses that pale, watery, limpid weakness of winter and becomes a blazing flame again it is like being reborn with the things that grown around you.
When the world smells like life again instead of decay and all the things that bloom and grow send out their scent like a primal call to all living things it is as if it were saying, this is life...breath it in and it will make you new again. And suddenly the brooding silence of winter is replaced with the song of life all around. The birds sing as if in joy and if you listen carefully you can hear them calling to each other as if they had been parted for a long time and were delighted to meet again. At night the trill of bird song becomes the bass and strings of frogs and crickets who cannot be silent because even the night is alive in spring.
I got into my car to go to work this morning and looked around me, trying to memorize it exactly as it was because it was a fine warm day and I knew that when I returned in the evening it would not be the same, and it wasn't. There were plants that had bloomed and greenery that was taller and leaves that were larger and greener. It sometimes feels as if nature likes to trick and amaze me, just for the joy of it.
When I drive down the road I check the fields that I know will soon have wild lillies rising above the tall grass and the hill where there will soon be lupines spread like a Monet painting in rolling colors across the surface. I play red light, green light with nature, thinking that if I look closely and keep my eyes on the spot it won't be able to surprise me again, but it always does. One day there are lupines where there was only a green hill and wildflowers where there were only the tall grasses the day before.
I play this game of green light – red light with nature, striving to see the transformation happen in stages, as if by not taking my eyes from it nature will be unable to sneak up on me. Nature always wins, but I don't mind because when nature wins I always end up with the trophy, and it is bliss.
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