On Monday, March 20, Spring 2017 officially begins. That’s right. We kick winter to the curb regardless of what the thermometer says or the weatherman predicts. Even though Mother Nature, Jack Frost or the brutal Old Man Winter might not get the message, the plain and simple fact is spring arrives without question; it happens every year.
Spring means a myriad of things to all of us. Whether we relish the fact of more temperate weather, less snow and ice, the birth of baby animals, the sprouting of buds and blooms, the longer days ... I could go on and on about the perks spring brings to our world. Spring will ultimately make its presence known, even if we refuse to notice. I like that.
For me, spring is the season that actually offers me the opportunity to take a deep sigh of relief. I’m not a fan of winter (though I’d be hard-pressed to complain this year), and the official start of this season reminds me of many things — perhaps the most important is the opportunity for second chances. I’m a firm believer in second chances, opportunities. We all deserve them, and furthermore, I think we should remember those second chances in our day-to-day lives, especially when it comes to people and those we love.
Spring also reminds me of the circle of life. The flowers sprout; the buds on the trees appear. The summer brings our world into full bloom, and in the fall, the plants and trees bow their heads, seemingly prepared for their winter slumber. While those natural beauties disappear as the bleak days of winter arrive, it’s the coming of spring and the re-appearance of nature that reminds us of that circle of life — yet another chance to appreciate all the natural beauty in our worlds.
While spring means different things to all of us, perhaps one of the most exciting signs of spring for me is the baby animals being born. Living in an agricultural area, one doesn’t have to stray too far off the beaten path to see calves, colts, lambs, piglets ... and more. I watch for them on my daily drives to work and as I travel around the county. Seeing those babies — standing close to their mothers, vulnerable — clearly makes my heart smile.
Growing up on a farm, I remember countless baby animals every spring. Perhaps the ones that have engraved the biggest memory are the colts which would arrive every year.
I can still see the look on my grandfather’s face as he would hurriedly burst into the house and tell us he had a surprise to show us. Sometimes still in our pajamas, we’d head outside to the pasture, where get a first glimpse of the miracle of life. Oftentimes still wet, their skinny legs, knobby knees, short little mane and tail — they would steal our hearts as we quietly watched for what seemed like hours. My grandfather’s expression was clearly one of pride.
The aforementioned scenario happened every year without exception. As a little girl, I remember being as excited as Grandpa — after all, what’s not to love about the miracle of birth. But as time went on, I remember losing my enthusiasm, and one spring day, I recall a situation I’ve never forgotten.
I must have been about 12, and Grandpa came storming into the house — his face aglow — telling us he had a surprise. I had just gotten up and was laying on the couch watching something on TV. Just like he had for many, many years, he asked me to come outside and see. I told him I’d be there in a little bit. He left the house without me, and that’s when Grandma stepped in ...
“Get yourself up off that couch, and go with your grandfather,” she said sternly. I attempted to complain and give her a host of reasons why I didn’t want to go outside in the cool weather, but she wasn’t buying any of it.
“Look here, Little Lady. There will come a time when you will wish you could join your grandfather outside to see his surprise. You might already know what that surprise is, but it doesn’t matter. Get up and go. Now,” she said.
“There will come a time ...”
That time, my friends, has come. What I wouldn’t give to hear Grandpa say he’s got a surprise. What I wouldn’t give to see the expression on his face. What I wouldn’t give to stand at the pasture gate and watch that tiny colt — only minutes old — with my grandfather.
Spring represents a lot. Second chances don’t come along every day. I’m going to embrace this upcoming season, hopefully look at the beauty of spring with fresh eyes ... and also remember, “There will come a time.”
BCR Editor Terri Simon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.