The Promise of Spring

Shared with permission from the DCNR Bureau of Forestry’s Forest Fridays archive. 

Willow Flowers

Our recent March and early April “yo-yo” weather pattern has me admittedly yearning for brighter, warmer days. Like the emerging leaves, I must be patient; jumping the gun won’t work out in the long run.  A prime example is the magnolia in the side yard, whose blooms almost always get zapped by frost. Timing is everything, so they say.

Nature’s timing is deliberate, ebbing and flowing with the availability of sunlight, warmth, and water. Buds swell and unfurl in lockstep with current weather patterns, speeding up with warmth and pausing during cold spells. My outdoor activities match the pace. Some days, it’s energy and springtime bustle; others are spent glumly accepting the drizzle and a thermometer seemingly stuck on 42.

As much as I want spring to prevail, I know it will come at its own pace. Many of life’s lessons teach this concept, that timing is often out of our hands and rushing the process can prove futile. Practicing mental patience can allow us to focus on smaller changes, giving an opportunity to appreciate the small, incremental changes that are there if you look.

Signs of spring are all around, even if small. Tiny leaves of native perennials are poking up, red maples are in bloom, and redbud blooms are swelling. Some willows are nearly done blooming now, and serviceberries are gearing up for their annual show. The violas are up; grass is greening, and some elderberries are partially leafed out.

Elderberry leafing out

Most of the greatest gifts of life are never rushed; beautiful works of art take time. And there is much to be appreciated throughout the journey.

Although the march to full springtime grandeur in Penn’s Woods can feel painstakingly slow, rest assured we will get there. I must remind myself to slow down and enjoy all the little steps along the way, because Mother nature always fulfills her promise of spring.