Monday, 19 March 2012

Spring Thrill

I spied it in a small corner of the garden between the driveway and our flagstone walk. In the deep shade of a large cedar bush, one solitary snowdrop flower had pushed through winter’s ugly detritus, giving me my first glimpse of spring’s renewal. Despite the imported masses of blooms in every grocery store, year-round, there’s nothing like spotting a vibrant shoot  sprouting outdoors through the black earth. This is especially true for a carefree gardener like myself, whose showiest successes have usually blown in from neighbouring properties. I’m enthusiastic, but undisciplined, so I may be more impressed than others at any sign of healthy greenery in my own garden.

When I stop to delight in the first sprouts, I’m awed to see that small clumps of dirt and pieces of bark chip have been knocked aside by the unstoppable surge of plant life. How can pliable little leaves push their way up through the dark soil, gradually shoving aside any obstacles, until they reach daylight and fresh air? It should be impossible.

After so many years, I still feel a primal thrill at signs of the new season, a surge of relief that the sun is returning and winter is fading away.
Every Spring, these early flowers sing encouragement and offer their miniature examples of Easter’s blazing miracle: life is stronger than death. 
Maybe, given the daily news, all of us can use every reminder possible.

For a couple of days, I smiled every time I noticed the little white flower on my way in or out of the house. You may have guessed that I’m the kind of person who talks to plants (birds, squirrels… myself). 
Snowdrops hang their heads low to the ground, so you rarely see them up close, but one day I bent down to say thankyou, and got a thrill. Slipping one finger gently under its fragile stem I tipped up its flower face. 
Honestly, I’m amazed at the faith of atheists who believe that mindless evolution could produce this delicate work of art. 
Not only was the flower pristine white above the mucky dirt, but when I looked carefully, I found tiny brush strokes of green decorating each snowy interior petal, a green that echoed the blossom’s stem and the surrounding fountain of arcing leaves. At its centre, bright yellow stamens completed spring’s classic colour scheme. 

I took a deep breath and exhaled a long sigh of grateful for one little piece of perfection.