Standing on the edge of the newly uncovered deck following 14 straight weeks of snow and ice cover, I heard new sounds. After the long silence of winter, the neighborhood was slowly coming alive. Someone rolled a trash can to the curb for morning pick up. Two voices were conversing down the street. A dog barked. A car splashed in a mud puddle as it drove by. A different dog barked. Someone walking their dog in the pre-dusk light jingled a set of keys as they passed by.
Fourteen looong weeks of bitter cold, harsh winds, every kind of precipitation possible. I’d almost forgotten the sounds of spring.
Another day passed. Suddenly there was a set of robins hopping across the leftover snow streaks in the front yard. Orange and purple painted the western sky at dusk. And the once frozen soil was becoming mushy with the thaw that comes with spring.
Later that night. The wind howled and the sky flashed! Out of nowhere an unfamiliar crack of thunder startled us from sleep. The sounds of spring were emerging.
Then days passed and the rains kept coming. Not forty days and forty nights, for that promise had been made long ago, but the rains came anyway. Unceasing, relentless. The yard only half thawed became first a stream, then a river, and then a small lake. The streets were full. The rivers broke their banks. The miniature icebergs scraped at the bridges and underpasses. The rains came. The water stayed.
And then, without warning, on a mid-afternoon it came. Faintly at first, but the colors brightened, then doubled, then connected one span of the sky to the other. A full double rainbow graced the Eastern horizon. Hope was restored. Spring was emerging.
Tonight, a quiet surprise. Somewhere beyond the housetops echoed the coo of the doves. Our town has an abundance of doves, but they have been absent since winter set in. But tonight, they were here, calling to one another, calling to us. Spring emerging brings the coo of the doves, which in turn brings hope and inspiration and courage.
Spring emerging is bittersweet. No more ice and snow in which to complain, but rather sunshine and rain in which to accept. Never perfect yet always right. Spring emerging in sound, in site, and in life.
We live in four seasons. The calendar marks the days, but the seasons put a mark on our hearts. Acutely aware of the passing time, seasons forge their own path in their own time, which then becomes our time. We don’t choose the timing or the path, but we are full participants in both.
To welcome the spring is also to embrace the fall. To bask in summer is also to anticipate the winter. In seasons we are tested, bruised, battered and torn, yet somehow restored, made whole, and at last completed. Not in our own time, but in Time as it’s given.