Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hurry, spring~

You can't hurry love. No, you just have to wait. You got to trust, give it time, No matter how long it takes. (The Supremes)

Neither can you hurry spring.

I've learned you can't hurry much of anything. Or, rather, you can try, but the results will never be quite what you hoped for.

Spring is like a baby waking from a nap. Slowly. Eyes flicker momentarily. More sleep. Another flicker. One eye opens. More sleep, but lighter. Until finally, fully awake, life resumes after a long winter's nap.

A week ago a friend and I drove to a pretty place. We had our cameras and hoped for the tease of early spring, which was only a week away, but with both eyes tightly shut, spring still snored. The day was cold with patches of snow in the deep woods, mud in the sun, and varied shades of brown everywhere. Pretty enough for winter's end, but we were impatient for a change.

As we chatted in the parking lot before heading home, Lisa gently fingered some soft magnolia buds on the pruned branches in my truck bed. They were fuzzy, mouse-grey, full of life's promise. Like soft sacrificial lambs--the rest of the tree would be better without them--they awaited the brush pile at the landfill. Lisa seemed to be comforting the buds in some unconscious way as she touched them while we talked.

I got home and pulled the branches from the truck, clipped the ends, and stuck them in water. To have come so close to blooming and then be tossed seemed sad, a waste, a loss.

"Maybe I should have waited until fall," my husband said, but he's a hurry-up guy. The tree needed pruning, so he pruned. He didn't feel the ouch, or hear the cries. I did.

I wasn't sure if the branches would respond, but days later buds began to open; the grey fuzz split to reveal white petals. Small green leaves sprouted. Weeks ahead of the tightly clamped buds on the mother tree in the yard, these were opening.

It appears I can hurry spring.

But somehow it feels, if not wrong, not quite right, either. I'll enjoy the forced beauty, and try not to think of caged birds that should fly free. The flowers will grace the kitchen, even as I look beyond them through the window to the tree that will bloom freely on it's own time.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.~Lao Tzu


RiverPoet said...

Lovely post, Ruth, and I love the Lao Tzu quote even more. Perfect.

Peace - D

Janice Thomson said...

I know just how you must have felt at the pruned branches. Luckily you had a chance to enjoy them for a little bit and appreciate their beauty. Love that quote from Lao Tzu - sums it up perfectly if we just let it be.

Pauline said...

Wonderful post! I like your comment about trying not to think of caged birds... that is precisely why I now have trouble cutting flowers and bringing them in the house. I find myself more and more simply enjoying them where I find them.

Anonymous said...


sc morgan said...

Lovely thoughts, Ruth. My mother used to accuse us of "waiting in a hurry" when we were kids. I've used that phrase ever since. I love the Lao Tzu quote, too. Very nice!

s, who lives where it is always green and has to look hard to see signs of spring, but they are there. We are still in the northern hemisphere and, believe it or not, seeds planted in January don't do well.

Laurel Marshfield said...

The Secret Life of Plants would certainly offer "proof" of your sense that the pruned branches felt the cut and were crying in their way. A wonderful, thoughtful post about the new life that is spring each year.