Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Extra! Spring is here – hoorah, hoorah – something regular


Bring it on

Even a dandelion popping up in a flower garden is a welcome sign of spring. (Warren Gerds)


Spring springs today – or at least the first full day of the season.

Spring crept up on us late last night.

The science folks say that Thursday, March 19, 2020, was the earliest arrival of spring in 124 years in the Northern Hemisphere.

Spring doesn’t care what astronomers and meteorlogists say. It just is.

We need “just is.”

What a relief.

Something normal.

Our world is sprung, what with all the coronavirus/COVID-19 stuff.

Most of us never heard of the word “coronavirus” on the first day of fall.

And “pandemic”?

Forget it.

Today is a day of promise.

The male cardinals in our backyard are singing even more brightly than they have all winter.

Whiffs of skunk drift by. Skunks are out and about, signaling in the air that winter is over for them.

A male robin chirps out its lungs – “blur-reep, blur-reep, blur-reep, blur-reep, blur-reep!”

Snow piles are retreating. The advancing sun is ending their reign.

A couple of crows are yanking at trees for materials to make a nest. There will wars with hawks in our airwaves again this year, and little creatures on the ground will be especially wary again.

Our chipmunk is out, stopping momentarily to preen. Off it scampers. Stops. Scampers.

A knot of geese passed low last night at dusk, sounding eager.

Squirrels that have been around all winter are digging in the thawed ground. “Where did I leave that nut?… Here?… nuthin’. Here? … nuthin’. Here?… oh, nuts!”

Maple tree buds are puffing up ever so slowly. Soon, there will be discussions about whether their seeds are “helicopters” or “monkey fiddlers.” Again, we will wonder where those names came from.

Sap is running. Maple syrup season is here. There is something comforting in the gathering, the making and, after all the hours and hours and hours, the tasting. The real thing is best, you know.

Children are finding fascination in pussy willows, giving them a kind of warm fuzzies. How can a plant grow puffs of what looks like hair?

Sparrows flit through branches, picking and pecking. They stop to listen, cocking their heads, when they hear calls of strangers that are just passing through. We tilt our heads, too, knowing we will hear those birds only briefly as they head north. Tough birds, they.

Some grass is green. Most is trying to be green. It’s time to prime the lawnmower and think of cutting. Imagine the smell of fresh-cut grass… ahh, spring.

The yard will need raking. Is it a chore or exercise? A lot of us will need exercise this year especially after all the sitting around that is being forced on us.

Ahh, spring, the start of a promise of renewal.

The promise of something warmer.

The promise of something better.

The sun will come up earlier, and the sun will go down later.

We don’t have to be hopeful about this. “Hope” sometimes is wishful. You don’t have to wish about spring. It will come, and its promises will be kept.

It happens every year, like clockwork.

It is something we can rely on.

We need something to rely on, especially this year.

Summer will come again.

Fall will come again.

Winter will come again.

And spring will come again next year.

This year we especially need spring.

It’s the old normal amid a scary new normal.

Greening grass.

Leafing trees.

Warm breezes.

Chirping birds.

Fresh smells.

Budding plants.

Bring it on, bring it on.

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