It’s a study in contrasts– the yearning for the days to pass swiftly, for spring to arrive– and yet aching for time to slow down, for our children to stay young and innocent, to let the days soak in thoroughly. Instead the moments seem to swirl and fade in a blur of happy color.
I want the days to go by more quickly, for the snow to melt away– so the plants will poke their head from the ground and remind me that hope springs forth. I wait for the early harvest of the asparagus that we all planted together last year, remembering how we dug in the heat of the sun, watching as we watered the roots, creating small little liquid beads reflecting the yellow light. I can’t wait to call to the kids as they bound off the bus on some warm sunny spring afternoon, to show them the little early tips leaping out from the brown crust. I yearn for the rhubarb leaves to unfurl and show off their strong red stalks, reaching for the sun. I can’t wait, but still I want time to slow down so we remember, to let it all seep into our minds, to hold it in our hearts. I want my little ones to stay little. Already I feel like it’s silly of me to call them my little ones. Because they aren’t little, really. They are growing too quickly, too soon. I want them to stay young, to always think that it’s fun to work out in the garden with their mother, to be excited as we search out little sprigs of happiness each spring. I want to see the light in their eyes as we laugh, planting onions and peppers, while searching for a spot to put in dahlia tubers and zinnia seeds. I want to hear their childlike laughter for so many more years, to hear them call out to each other while they play on the swing set, voices ringing high above the neighborhood as they reach the apex of their flight. I want to see little hands full of dirt, and flip-flops strewn across the backyard. I yearn to hear Connor turning on the hose to get a drink of water, then filling up buckets to ‘help’ water the plants. I wait to see the freckles reappear, to watch the hair at their temples turn sun-kissed white. I want to feel the soft spray as Nora splashes in the little plastic pool, and hear the slap of wet bare feet smacking against the brick floor in the sun room. I wait to see Joel stretched out on a towel on the driveway, reading a book while the sun warms his back. I long to hear again the sound of sidewalk chalk being scraped across asphalt, the whir of bikes pedaling, the sound of sprinklers pulsing. I yearn to hear and see, smell and taste the wonderful pieces of spring and summer as they envelop our home.
I want spring to arrive, to hasten its course. But, oh, how I ache for time to slow down.
So for now, while I wait, this small pot of spring blossoms will have to do. And it does help. A little.
-from Voice of Spring, by Felicia D. Hemans