The Conundrum of Spring

A Vignette of Spring Flowers and Warm Breezes

Winters are not severe here in Vancouver, but the season is obvious: cool, lots of rain, and more dull days than anyone wants.  Sunny days are greeted with joy, and people pour out to enjoy walks.  My walking partner says wistfully, “How I wish this break was really the beginning of spring, but it’s much too early.  We won’t see spring for another month.”

Her estimation makes sense.  She hit the average time the warm weather arrives here–but not this year.  To our surprise and pleasure, mixed with feelings of confusion, spring really is beginning.  

Nature reacts to what is happening, not to what it did last year.  The flowers know.  Every flowering bush has buds opening.  The streets are lined with a majestic show of ornamental flowering trees, beautiful enough to thrill even the most serious allergy victims!

The song birds know; their singing lifts our spirits.  Our ducks are back from the south, and building nests where future ducklings will be born.  They know the time is right, regardless of the calendar.

How do they know?  Nature seems to be a step ahead of us, and intuitively reacts to the realities it encounters.  The first priority in nature is survival.

If we want our world to survive we also must accept the realities which exist.  We can no longer shut our eyes and pretend “God’s in His Heaven, all’s right with His world.”  Like the world of nature, our human world is facing extinction.  The signs are everywhere – such as the melting of the polar ice, and the general warming of the earth.

Now is the time for us to seriously look, understand, and react.


Filed under This & That

12 Responses to The Conundrum of Spring

  1. Jim Taylor

    I like that line, “Nature… reacts to the realities it encounters.” So should we. Ideologies blind us to realities.

    Jim T

    • Marjorie

      Jim, do you remember the saying, attributed to a rabbi of long ago. I think it went like this. “We are not responsible for completing the work of perfecting God’s world. Neither are we excused from the duty of doing what we can to bring this about”. Often I feel like that is where we are now. What I can accomplish may be pitifully small, but I am not excused from doing what I can.

  2. We were brought a little pot to of tulips not quite open last week. I smelled its soil and it was suddenly Spring in our apartment. There is still snow here and it is still cold, but the angle of the light is different, the days longer. I heard geese overhead last week (!), birds are going crazy in the trees; the trees branches are kinda blurry with budlettes. But I have seen 50 springs in Canada — and they are, alas, ever so slow in coming, but we are on the right side of Summer!
    Soon we will be bitching about the heat and humidity…

    • Marjorie

      Well, Barbara – it is great to be looking forward to summer – but tell me why all of us seem so slow to realize that our world needs more help than that.

  3. Susan McCalla

    Dear Marjorie
    Thank you for a beautiful essay on Spring. Yes, Nature does know and I would agree with Mr. Taylor’s comment above….we need to open our eyes and see the reality of the harm we bring to life on earth. And then maybe we can all come together to enact the changes that are desperately needed.

    • Marjorie

      Wouldn’t it be nice, Susan. If everyone did what they could – who knows what together we might achieve.

  4. Thank you for your very welcome reminder that spring is on the way, even if it arrives earlier on the West Coast. We welcome the birds, the longer days, the greening of the grass, the brave new shoots poking their bright green through slush and mud. I used to fret about not “developing” our rural property until I discovered that leaving land undeveloped is one of the kindest things one can do for the environment. We do care. Our children care and two of them have remained on this land for that reason. We do not take it for granted and our children have learned to “listen” to nature, to pay attention to the animals, the trees, the seasons. I think there may be more devoted stewards of the land than we know.

    • Marjorie

      So nice to hear, Laurna. Would that all parents introduce that idea to the next generation. It is one good step in the right direction.

  5. Brenda Wallace

    We were at my brother Rob’s for a family Easter supper tonight and when we were leaving about 9:30 p.m. it was shirt- sleeve weather. We have had a very mild winter here in Calgary. Our trees are confused with beginning buds and our neighbour’s lawn is turning green. We even saw a little jack rabbit tonight that was more brown than white. Happy Easter, dear friend.

    • Marjorie

      And a Happy Easter to you and your clan, Brenda! Just came home from an interesting Easter Service. A question for you – when did bunny rabbits get tied up with Easter? Care of the environment is one thing, the evolution of the world, and ideas, even problems may have a link — but rabbits??

  6. Eleanor Jackson

    Marjorie, I am reading this on April 4th and it does seem like Spring has really come, especially on this day when I thought rain was in the forecast. Sometimes it is hard to remember that our planet is in deep trouble, when we are surrounded by such lush growth. However, we do need to remember because as so much of our part of the planet in our country is falling away and it affects animals losing their habitat and our human brothers and sisters, many of whom are losing their livelihoods.

    • Marjorie

      Yes Eleanor, and isn’t it easy to be distressed, when it seems there is nothing one can do. This came up during a conversation, and I was amazed. One person says she no longer lets the water run from the faucet when she brushes her teeth. A very small thing, but it saves water. A middle-aged man says he is biking to work – saving on the use of gasoline. He feels better physically, and mentally is pleased he is doing a little something helpful.
      A little ripple in the water spreads and spreads. Who knows where it will end? Awareness is the starting factor, followed by the belief that each of us can do something beneficial.