There is a point in spring that always makes me smile. It is a particular morning, though not a consistent date, that I stumble upon every year. I have only experienced this phenomena here in the Northwest, but I suspect that is more of an attention thing than anything else. It is the Morning When Everything is in Bud. This year it was this morning.
I stumbled out of bed, shuffled (my slippers are made for shuffling, and I sound like an ancient old man as I come down the hallway to the sound of the scuff scuff scuff on the carpet), started the water for coffee and then shuffled to the big window in my living room. I opened the blinds and there it was before me.
The cherry trees, the paper bark birches, the maples, the pretty little white budding apples, all of them are suddenly in bloom. To be fair, the cherry trees were trying really hard as early as last week and were rewarded for their efforts by an epic, wet, heavy snowfall. It was sad to see the number of downed branches around the neighborhood. The other trees though, showed a bit more restraint and waited a few days; discretion is often called for when dealing with weather here.
I love it when it happens; I won’t trot out any of the old ‘spring is such a hopeful time’ tropes, because for me it isn’t so much about the hope and renewal aspect; instead it is the day the world seriously returns to color. The daffodils have been trying, all the bulbs have been making a valiant attempt to bring us back into our Technicolor existence. The robins have been working hard at it; big fat red breasted beasties that they are. I even spied a red-winged blackbird and a couple of stellar jays on Monday.
Winter is black and white and shades of gray – which I also like. There is something striking about such a landscape, it feels as though you have walked into a very find charcoal drawing. And yet, like all good art, variety is nice. I have passed through to the next gallery, this one filled with bright, impressionist colors. It is Monet and Pissaro and Renoir right outside my window. Little snapshots of colorful life every time I pass a window or take a walk or, well, look.
It also means the beginning of Farmer’s markets, hails the coming of long days spent in wine country, of lazy afternoons on the deck with crisp white wines, of wonderful fresh salads with little tiny French breakfast radishes, iced coffee, grilled garlic shoots, chilled cocktails, and warm evenings at sidewalk cafes. Every season has its selling point for me; every season has its harbinger. For me, for spring. it is this day; the one where I suddenly see all the buds, as if they had exploded overnight.