Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Once Again

       I suppose I can remember the onset of forty-some Spring seasons. I marvel at how happy I am that it has come again, though--as if there were some chance it would not. This winter was not terribly cold, or snowy, but I was ready for it to end and to be warm again.

       Walks around the farm are so beautiful. Tiny frogs are jumping around the banks of the pond. Trees are flowering and leaves are appearing in that early chartreuse color that is such a contrast to grey and brown. Robins and Downy Woodpeckers and Bluebirds have returned. A great heron has been feeding at water's edge, and migratory flocks of geese are passing overhead.

       With the change of seasons comes a reminder of new life and rebirth. I can't imagine living in a place without four seasons, but that is only because it's all I've ever known. Our foreign exchange students have told me what it is like for them. Certainly Stephania, who came at the start of winter here, is happy to be able to go outside without a heavy coat.

       The dogs are seeking shade to lie in to escape the sun beating down on their still-thick fur coats. The horses are happy to be eating grass after the winter of dry hay. We need to be careful with the ponies. Spring grass has a lot of sugar in it, and they can get sick from it and founder. I have been putting them in and out of stalls, the riding ring, and even the chicken run. We gave away the last of our chickens before the winter. They were older and had pretty much stopped laying.

       Gus wanted a couple of bunnies and so we made a condition that he clean out the chicken coop as an eventual home for them. He worked over Easter break and carted loads and loads of manure as well as a load to the trash dumpster and a few loads to the barn.

       Gus got the bunnies. They are adorable. We got them from the local farm store, which also had ducklings and chicks. Another hallmark of springtime. Margaret asked why bunnies are associated with Easter. The bunny motif was certainly strong in our dining room.

       I told her that bunnies are born in the springtime, that Easter is in the Spring, and that Christians believe that Jesus rose from the grave at Easter to give us new life. We drove past a local farm and saw that the farmer had erected a huge wooden cross on his hill. New growth is everywhere. It happens again and again, every year. Frozen ground thaws and green appears.

       Frozen hearts can thaw, too. Minds stuck in a belief pattern can change. 
Life can indeed begin again.