Despite the below freezing temperatures outside and all the snow still yet to melt on the sidewalks, the air feels lighter and the mood feels brighter. Spring has sprung! Every passing season brings about a certain adjustment within us, but the feeling that comes with spring is exhilarating. I am still waiting to feel that lingering sunshine on my face and be enveloped by the warm breeze. But it is just around the corner and I can hardly wait.
Those of you who live even remotely close to the equator might not be able to truly relate. Its a feeling of freshness and rejuvenation. A promise of new beginnings. A reminder that there is light after the dark. A sign that under the frost exists life.
Bundled up from head to toe, my kids and I stepped out to get some fresh air. I was trying not to walk too far knowing that we’ll have to retrace our steps back and my nose was already starting to feel a little numb. When suddenly something caught my attention. Tucked away under the shade of a tree yet to bloom, was a little bright yellow bud with two green leaves on either sides. Only two feet away from a giant pile of melting ice, it felt like the flower bud was holding its own and emerging a victor. It seemed to be radiating exuberance and strength.
The reactions from my 4 year old and 2 year old were priceless. There were squeals, vigorous up-and-down jumping and clapping. The excitement was so pure. It was like they were seeing a bud in the ground for the first time. I wonder if my kids would have had the same reaction if we hadn’t been buried in the cold for the past few months. I wonder if their excitement would be just as intense two months from now.
Spring always brings back a distinctive memory from my childhood. The backdrop is Lusaka, Zambia and I was about 6 years old. This is the first place I’d call home to the furthest of my memory. In one corner of our front yard, was the most beautiful Frangipani tree. These trees don’t grow very tall but spread out wide creating the perfect shade from the beating sun. They are blessed with an abundance of flowers beautifully symmetric. They were yellow at the center fading into a clear white at the tips. The leaves were bright green, long and waxy. I would climb and swing off the low branches. I would spend hours in its shade playing and collecting the fallen flowers. The fresh fruity, almost peachy smell is still amazingly so vivid in my mind. It was my tree.
I hope my kids will build experiences to someday have such memories. But with the growing industrialization, it might be a far stretch.
How much of our surroundings do we take for granted now? We enjoy and admire a pretty flower or a handsome building but its mostly in passing. Those living in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city are lucky to catch a glimpse of any greenery. But this feeling I talk about isn’t necessarily only ignited by a season or nature. It could be anything around us that brings immense joy. Maybe the giggle of your baby, maybe the tug of your pet, maybe the sport you play or maybe your first love. Whatever it may be, it makes us feel alive. It makes us feel the magic.
“In a cool solitude of trees
Where leaves and birds a music spin
Mind that was weary is at ease
New rhythms in the soul begin.”
– William Kean Seymour