Ode to Late Spring

Ode to Late Spring

here’s to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap
and to your (in my arms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain
-e.e. cummings


It’s still technically spring. The first day of summer is June 21st, and until then, I’ll be soaking up the particular magic of the greening Front Range. 

Here in Colorado, water is a resource we don’t take for granted. In my lifetime, I’ve seen the milder summers stretch into those of the longer, hotter, dryer variety; the plants, flowers, and trees are thirstier for longer, and so, when the leaves unfurl and the buds bloom in early spring, I feel especially at home and appreciative of our gorgeous, fleeting surroundings. 

First comes the forsythia, that yellow flame that serves as one of  the earliest marks of a changing landscape. The snow melt reveals a slow wash of color in our grasslands, prairies, and backyards. The naked trees suddenly burst forth with sweet, tender leaves. I love the days when I can take my starters outside for some air, and start to circulate some of my indoor plants in outdoor spaces. There’s certainly a collective exhale, an opening of the windows that’s literal, but also a refresh of the spirit. 

One of my favorite things to witness is the excitement and energy of a garden store. People stocking up on top soil, mulch, and annuals. Fingers graze the tops of herb starters and flowering plants with reverence. There’s a sense of promise, potential, and renewal. Sometimes, if you look beyond the bustle of the aisles and carts, you’ll see someone just taking it all in. Maybe they’re planning a garden for the first time, or figuring out how to extend their kitchen garden to the outdoors. Packets of seed promise all manner of wonders.

We’re right in the shoulder between spring and summer, where people can work on potting or in their back gardens for hours before getting too hot. Often, the mornings and nights are still cool. We wake up to the sounds of our neighbors putzing, watering, dreaming up projects. It is, in my opinion, one of the best moments to be convening with the natural world. 

Soon, the stretches of hot days will roll in. We’ll move into the steady routine of morning and night waterings; we’ll shade things when we need to. We’ll gratefully accept the cool shelter that our neighborhood trees will provide. We’ll slather on sunscreen and sip on iced tea.

But for now, I’ll enjoy these last few days as the season makes its shift. I’ll record the green in my mind, and take pleasure in the lushness of spring while it’s here in all of its early glory.

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