Judy Lockhart DiGregorio
A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here.
A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.
As Emily Dickenson states in her poem above, there is something special about spring, especially when you’ve experienced unexpected amounts of cold weather and snow as we have recently in Tennessee. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, a season of hope.
In Oak Ridge, flowering dogwoods command my attention with their profusion of creamy white blooms, dazzling pink ones, or in some cases, both. Red buds, azaleas, and forsythia brighten our yard and yellow pollen covers our deck. A few hyacinths and tulips pop up here and there adding shades of purple, red and orange to our front garden that is still mostly bare.
Spring in my home state of Texas means the flowering of the beautiful bluebonnets. Standing just over 12 inches, the bluebonnet works its way through the cold Texas earth and raises its vibrant blue head to the open sky above.
Spring is also the season the dramatic Texas live oak trees shed their green waxy leaves and replace them with new ones. I love Texas live oaks no matter what season it is. They have such character. Each one is unique with its wide spreading canopy and dense dark green foliage that provides lots of shade. Live oaks have graceful arching branches that often dip to the ground. Their bark turns from light gray to dark gray to black as they mature. When I was younger, I enjoyed climbing live oaks and resting on their branches, pretending I was in my very own tree house.
When I lived in Pacific Grove, California, for a year, spring brought the most beautiful vision I had ever seen – the bearded iris. With its long stem and showy six-petaled flower, the iris thrived in California because of the warm winters and hot summers. Tall purple irises grew wild along the path I walked to school each day. Not knowing it was forbidden to pick an iris since it was the state flower, I broke the top off a plant and brought it to school with me. After the teacher reprimanded me, I didn’t pick another one, but I continued to treasure them.
I also treasured my first visit to Big Sur National Park where we gazed upon the sequoia trees, giant redwoods that can live over 2000 years. Since I was only ten years old when I first saw them, I could not comprehend their age. Anyone or anything over 16 seemed old to me. I remember the crick in my neck when I tried to look up and see the top of the trees. It was hard to believe a tree could be so enormous and so old. The sheer beauty of the redwoods silenced me as I touched their bark and stood in awe.
I’m happy winter is over and spring is on the way so we can enjoy Mother Nature again. If you need a pick me up, just go outside and delight in the beauty that surrounds you. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Nature is the art of God.”
Judy Lockhart DiGregorio is a humorist, speaker, and the author of three humor books and a CD from Celtic Cat Publishing, Knoxville, TN -- Books: Life Among the Lilliputians, Memories of a Loose Woman, Tidbits, and CD: Jest Judy.
Email Judy: email@example.com