Hunter: Reluctant Spring

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(HOST)  This year, it seemed to take forever, but commentator Edith Hunter thinks we can finally say that spring is here.    

(HUNTER) Spring came slowly this year. It seemed almost reluctant to let us see that it was coming.

As soon as the snow melted off the grass, the greening began, but hardly progressed much in the cold weeks of mid-April. The pink that appears at the tips of bushes and trees was only slightly visible. It seemed to standstill.

I knew it was pussywillow time and I asked Elizabeth to go out by our pond and pick some for me. When I was a little girl growing up in Roxbury, every spring my dad packed up my older sister, my brother and me in our warm jackets and buckle boots for a trip by trolley car out to Reading, to what Dad called "the old race track." In the nearby wetland huge pussy willows grew, the treasure we had come to find and carry home.
But, back to Weathersfield. In the little garden next to the path into my kitchen appeared the tips of something yellow. It turned out to be some tiny yellow daffodils. There is probably a special name for them. My daughter-in-law April, Will’s wife, gave me a pot of them a year ago in January, and after they had passed, in spite of hearing that they would do nothing if put in the ground, I put them in the ground.And it is they in this reluctant spring that came up near the back door.

Then, up in Aunt Mary’s garden, I saw, to quote some lovely lines –
The slender blade of a jonquil
Thrusting out of the mold –
Though ice is still on the river
And the clear bright air is cold –

The green blade was soon followed by the first yellow daffodil.  And next to the porch I could see the yellow flowers of the forsythia gently pushing aside their brown cover. How true are Robert Frost’s lines:
"Nature’s first green is gold.
Her hardest hue to hold."

I’ve told the birds that when they empty the sunflower feeder and the thistle feeder this time, that is it. No more hand-outs for them. They must start to forage among the weeds and take care of themselves. I will continue to see that the suet holder is stocked since, when the time comes, I want to watch the hairy and downy woodpeckers bring their children in to be fed.

On the glassed in porch the ranks and ranks of seedlings, many of which Graham started, are reaching for what little sun there is. To the tomatoes and peppers Charles has added lettuce, arugula, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and many exotic kinds of peppers.

The great reality of the awakening earth is upon us. What a wonder to be part of it all.

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