Howdy, Spring. You’ve been a long time a-comin’
“But you live in Florida,” you say.
“Why are you complaining?”
I’m not, but I wish for more flowers, more blooming trees, more singing birds ~ strawberries even, which won’t appear until April.
I can never get enough of this gorgeous glory!
All in Good Time . . .
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. ~ Anne Bradstreet
He hath made everything beautiful in his time. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:11
I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic tree. I am going to close my eyes and listen. ~ Anne Lamott
Make Friends with the birds, for when you do they will gladly awaken you with sparkling conversations, and lull you to rest with a sweet composition that sums up their day.
Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings. ~ Victor Hugo
Gardening with Mother
Mother Ruth Longenecker from Pennsylvania sowing bean seeds in her daughter Jan’s sandy Florida garden, 1985. “The soil is so poor,” my dad said, “we need a load of chicken manure.”
I love my garden, and I love working in it. To potter with green growing things, watching each day to see the dear, new sprouts come up, is like taking a hand in creation, I think. Just now my garden is like faith – the substance of things hoped for.
~ Lucy Maud Motgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
From All In, Mark Batterson excerpts from pages 118 – 119
According to composer Leonard Bernstein, the best translation of Genesis 1:3 . . . is not “and God said.” He believes a better translation is “and God sang.” The Almighty sang every atom into existence, and every atom echoes that original melody sung in three-part harmony by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Did you know that the electron shell of the carbon atom produces the same harmonic scale as the Gregorian chant? Or that whale songs can travel thousands of miles underwater? Or that meadowlarks have a range of three-hundred notes” But the songs we can hear audibly are only one instrument in the symphony orchestra called creation.
Research in the field of bioacoustics has revealed that we are surrounded by millions of ultrasonic songs. Supersensitive sound instruments have discovered that even earthworms make faint staccato sounds! Lewis Thomas put it this way: “If we had better hearing, and could discern the descants of sea birds, the rhythmic tympani of schools of mollusks, or even the distant harmonies of [flies] handing over meadows in the sun, the combined sound might lift us off our feet.”
from Bach’s cantata
* * *
What signals of spring do you most enjoy?
If you tend a garden, what are you planting this spring?
Any garden memories from your childhood? Share these here too.
Inspiration for some of the quotes from these websites. Thank you, Linda & Jenn!
Oh my! So many wonderful quotes, Marian. You know I loved this post. When our hummingbirds return that’s when I know spring has truly sprung! I can’t wait!❤️
You like quotes and hummingbirds too, Jill. Unlike you, I have not had success with those tiny creatures. This year I will put up the feeder with fresh nectar, using sugar, not the store-bought stuff. Maybe even put the shepherd’s hook in a different location. I’m thinking of the window of my writing studio. It would be a pleasant distraction, don’t you think?
I’m open too to any suggestions for “courting” these birds, Jill.
Keep the juice fresh. Derek typically changes ours every couple of days…more if there’s heavy thunderstorms. It can be a lot of maintenance, but it’s worth it! Also, be patient. Once word gets out, they’ll come. <3
I’m sure I didn’t keep the juice fresh enough. Also, I need to place the feeder so I can keep an eye on it. That was one of my problems last year. Thanks for the tips, Jill!
Oh yes, you definitely want to place the feeder where you’re able to see it since they zip in and out so fast. All of ours are visible from the window at the kitchen sink. It makes me want to do dishes! 🙂 You’re welcome, Marian!
Lovely post, Marian–I love the quotations. And you know, I often write about the music of the universe. 🙂
If I didn’t know that you prepare these posts in advance though, I’d think you were rubbing it in about spring knowing the weather we’re getting here. The front page headline on today’s Inquirer says, “Will it Hit 18 inches?” I’m sure your sister in PA wishes she had stayed for a longer visit.
Signs of spring: I love to see the daffodils in bloom, the yellow-green leaves on trees, and the flowering trees.
I will NOT rub it in, Merril. Perish the thought! Remember this: You could do the same when we Floridians are trying to ward off hurricanes in late summer. Underneath all that snow blanket, blooms are waiting to burst forth.
Our spring comes here in February, and the chartreuse on the leaves I love passes so quickly into deep green. You have a lot to look forward to.
I love to see the trees getting dressed again and the flowers return with faces turned towards the sun. I appreciate the gentle warmth of the sun on my bones and the smiles of people who thought they were defeated by Winter returning with the Spring spreading Hugs around happily..
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
You sound so poetic, Sir David. You must be Welsh – ha! Spring and hugs go very well together. Huge hugs back to you as well. ((( )))
Looks like the beautiful white crane swooped over your azaleas and brought vivid color to life. I love gardening and Spring brings me out into open spaces that offer vision, light and hope for the budding of new life. Solitude with the soil soothes my soul. My new plants for this season are the eggplant colored Hawaiian Ti plants complimented with yellow coleus. It is a wonderful time of the year to be a Floridian. Thanks for the post.
You’re welcome, Carolyn, and thank you for the magical thought here, birds as spring’s harbingers. I’d love to have a look at your Hawaiian Ti plants with the coleus. Maybe you’ll post them on Facebook. Mother always had coleus plants, sometimes in pots in the kitchen window. When the seasons change, I feel loss more sharply. I wonder if others experience the same.
My heart sang as I read your post and listened to that glorious music on the video. Wonderful, wonderful quotes, Marian.
I saw some white flowers struggling out of the ground the other day. I didn’t plant them. A landscaping team planted them. I hope they survive. We’re back to around 28 degrees in my neck of the woods.
I’m glad the spring-y news here made your heart sing. Marie, I’m not sure where “your neck of the woods” is, but 28 degrees does sound cold for a day that’s (technically) spring. Can you cover your white flowers with light plastic perhaps? Yes, I too hope they survive. 🙂
Beautiful! Ah spring, it doth inspire us. Thank you for mentioning my blog. To answer your question about what signals of spring I most enjoy: it’s the garden waking up, of course!
You’re welcome, Linda. Your quotes are always so a propos for every season and mood. When I click on your blog I know I’ll find something to nurture my soul.
You mention your garden. Now I wonder how far you have “eaten” through the fruits and veggies you have canned or frozen last year. Hmmm
The supplies are beginning to dwindle, for sure. We still have a respectable supply of some things (vegetable soup, frozen fruit, salsa, etc) while others (like spaghetti sauce) I am rationing. We are sure looking forward to that first fresh spinach salad from the garden though.
Marian, This brought back memories of playing Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring on the piano … yes, even I could play it, poor musician that I was, so simple and melodic and flowing that it is. Signs of spring? Well, I wrote about that on my blog, too … Easter, Easter and more Easter and hiding those plastic eggs for the boys to find in the house when they were little. I miss those days, but still love the glory of Easter and its promise of renewal and all that is to come … and the smell of hyacinths which remind me of my mother.
I opened my hymnal and tried to play the Bach melody too this week. Years ago, it would have been so much easier. Soon I will check out your blog post for this week; it sounds nostalgic, just like the hyacinths you mention. Thank you, Susan.
Such a beautiful and hopeful post that I needed to read today. ‘Tis more winter than spring where I am, but I can think and plan ahead, can’t it?
Of course, you can, Ally. Judging from the comments, most of my blog readers live in colder climes, except for one in South Africa, who is heading into fall in the southern hemisphere.
Thanks for joining the spring-y conversation here!
Oh, Marian, this post really put me in the mood for spring, especially as we still have snow on the ground! Loved listening to the piece from the Bach’s cantata as I breathed in the lovely smell of daffodils on my kitchen table, which we received yesterday at cancer care clinic (my husband has a blood condition, that is pre cancerous so has to be checked regularly). I have an early childhood garden memory. In the Paraguayan Chaco, the soil was arid, and there were grasshoppers. But my aunt somehow had very fertile soil on her property, and whenever I smell tomatoes on the vine, I breathe deeply, and whisper her name “Tante Sarah”. In spirit she will always be with me when I smell vine ripe tomatoes!
I’m glad this post hit a sweet spot for you, Elfrieda. I imagine it will be a while before Manitoba feels spring like. Thank you for the lovely Paraguayan memory, which evokes memories of “Tante” Sarah.
Marian — Oh what a lovely post; I love your vivid photographs, especially of the Azaleas. I haven’t seen bottlebrush since we were on Coronado Island and it brought back lovely memories. Thank you! We’re currently traveling in Big Sky Country and it’s a breathtaking pleasure to see spring peeking it’s nose through the snow.
I’m guessing that you’re in Montana. The sky does look bigger in the West, which I learned as a sheltered girl traveling with my friend Joann. Safe travels with your “Happy Anniversary” buddy!
Wonderful and timely post, Marian.
I tune in to spring especially through the birds.
At my urban farm in Oakland at this time of year, the Swifts will soon be chattering overhead again and I know the Swallows are back in other nearby habitats. We are getting rain these first days of spring, and how happy that makes us all. The White Crowned Sparrows can’t stop singing by day…they will soon head to their summer homes nearby. Flickers will be leaving soon for their summer homes in the mountains. Flocks of Waxwings will be gone by May. Orioles and Grosbeaks return for the summer. The Mockingbird can’t stop singing at night; happily the Mockingbirds will be nesting nearby and staying all year long.
Like you, my Grandma Longenecker was so good at identifying birds in PA. When my sister visited Florida a few weeks ago, she was quick to recognize the cardinal’s and mockingbird’s songs. I took bird study in college, but it didn’t “take” to me. I love the idea of an urban farm. It sounds so civilized. Thanks for all of this, Dolores!
Love the idea of God singing the creation into existence. That one goes in my journal!
Here’s one of my own favorite psalms to accompany your thoughts here.
◄ Psalm 19 ►
New International Version
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4Yet their voiceb goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
Thank you, Shirley, for adding a complementary scripture. Aside from the noble King James Version, I like the nuanced phrases of the NIV. You inspired me to listen to the Bach piece again and think of these words. This excerpt is only 3 minutes long. Happy spring to all the Pittburghers, including your wee lass Lydia, who must have been overjoyed to see her nanny!
LOOVVEE these wonderful quotes. I need this hope of spring to come, since we’re waiting for our 4th nor’easter later here today. But I do have hints of spring – the bluebirds are enjoying our suet, singing birds have returned to our birdfeeder, the sun stays out (when it comes) til dinner time, the tight buds are sighing….soooonnnnn….soooonnnnn. Such a beautiful song of a post, Marian. xo
Snow, we know, is a side-tracker as I remember from my PA days. The earth is warming, days are lengthening; in the end, spring wins! Thank you for adding your piece to the positive buzz here today, Pam! 🙂
Inspiring post and wonderful quotes, Marian. Happy spring!
I’m happy to “hear” your thoughts – glad the quotes inspired you too, Bette!
Lovely post and quotes. I’m trying to be very patient. We just got almost 6″ of snow today, but it’s melting fast!
My sister in PA got even more inches according to her text this morning. She spent the first ten days of March with us in Florida and got very spoiled. But as you say, the earth is warming and snow is melting. Your patience will be rewarded with daffodils, dogwood, and more!
As much as I love winter, and I truly do! But at this time of year I can hardly wait for spring! Your pictures and quotations made me smile as I thought of spring coming! Living in Michigan is different than living in Florida! But we still have a lovely spring season! Just yesterday I saw a pair of Mallard Ducks in a small pond just down the road. I must keep checking our own pond! And of course, I’m looking anxiously for the first Crocus to break through the soil, the Gold Finches feathers to turn from drab brownish gray to brilliant bright yellow! I guess I love the signs of spring as much as spring itself! Thanks for sharing and turning my thoughts to spring!
I enjoyed reading your descriptive reverie. Spring in Michigan must be very special because of the contrast to winter. Sometimes I wish for snow here, but it’s not going to happen. The white blanket in our PA winters quieted the whole earth. And sometimes school was cancelled too!
Here’s to mallard ducks on the pond, Anita!
A lovely Spring post! We had a huge vegetable garden on the farm which meant a lot of work. But my grandmother in the city had a lovely small garden with flowers as well as vegetables. I loved her garden. She grew camomille which smelled so nice and she made me tea from the flowers when I had a stomach ache. Thanks for helping me recreate that special memory. The music was so wonderful too. Happy first day of Spring!!
Veggies and flowers, both nourishing to body and soul. I’m pleased when posts elicit sweet memories. Thanks for spreading more joy here, Darlene. 🙂
A poetic post today, Marian, thank you. For me, spring smells different from winter. The sun is brighter too. But our strawberries won’t be out until June. Blueberries follow in summer along with red and black raspberries. Then I harvest rose hips right after our first hard frost, which would be September. Have I just whizzed through the year? Oh dear.
I agree that spring smells different from winter probably because of warming temps. Here in Florida I wear sunglasses and a visor beginning in February because the angle of the sun is higher.
Yes, you whizzed through the year, and it rhymed too. Thanks, Janet, for chiming in from Vermont. What exactly are rose hips, I wonder.
A friend from Blountstown (Fla.) posted his azalea bush yesterday, it looked as lovely as yours. That was one of the things I LOVED about living in Fla, was azaleas, camellias, early strawberries, and of course, the BEACH. These are all lovely thoughts and hopes as I shoveled snow today and had a pity party while engaging in a two hour phone meeting from my HOME office when most of my colleagues were out playing–literally–in the snow. And posting photos about it!!
Oh well. The snow is lovely, the ground cover appreciated, the roads are all melted for manana, the moisture much needed, and I’m well. Just tired.
The lovely azaleas you see have turned to mush. Why? Because our spring was dry and then we had two downpours and that’s that.
I do miss the snow. It would be good for Jacksonville to come to a halt at least once a year, so we could enjoy the quiet. It happened in 1989. Our kids were still at home and used a flattened cardboard to slide down the snowy hill.
Your snow blanket will melt soon, and nitrogen will soak into the soil for a nice garden this season. So we hope. Best wishes for a good night’s rest. It sounds like you could do with a vacation too, Melodie. 🙂
Yep, I sound kind of grudg-y there. I always feel much better in the morning!
How disappointing about your azaleas. I love your Jacksonville sleds! I’m sure I told you about the time my father brought a truckload of Indiana snow back to Blountstown the first year we lived there (when he had to go North on business and it snowed and he loaded his truck with snow for weight). You can guess that a couple of us kids took that snow and built a snowman on the school grounds near the flag pole which the Floridians enjoyed seeing the next morning before it quickly melted.
What a dad – trucking snow to Florida. Thanks for refreshing the memory with details. Happy Thursday!
Just beautiful Marian – God was definitely singing from the day of creation and still does. It’s a cool and rainy day here in Johannesburg, everything is bright green with some touches of colour.
Thank you for the lovely photos and quotes … they too are singing …
God sings in creation and does so whether we feel in tune or not. I’m glad you enjoyed the post this week. Blessings to you, Susan!
I always love your quote compositions and photos. Now I really can’t wait for Spring! Of course, it hasn’t been a week yet since I last shoveled the driveway. Stupid stnow! lol
Thanks for your contribution here, Jenn. Just the right words . . . and in the write order too!
My PA sister is sick, sick, sick of snow too. They got more this week. She sent pictures, so pretty before it melts!
Happy Thursday. Don’t take any guff today!
Hear, hear to your celebration of spring! Snow is still covering most of my main vegetable garden, but a few irises and day lilies are daring to poke up along the foundation of my house. I’ve got my seed packets all arranged and my tools at the ready for this most hopeful time of year. I wish you many delightful surprises as you wander outdoors this spring!
Ho, ho, Rebecca! Your comment radiates hope and anticipation. I wonder if Sage will be on hand to help. I can see the images of irises and day lilies cheering on buds still under the snow. Happy spring 🙂
The quotations sing like spring Marian . This is such a joyful season however we are still experiencing cold temperatures here in Wales but Primroses , Snowdrops and Daffodils are making their annual appearance. More natural light and a choir of birds to greet my day …that is spring in a nutshell …I love it
I’m tickled pink that primroses, snowdrops and daffodils are decorating your pathway. We have been enjoying Penelope Keith’s TV tour of the villages of Britain and 2-3 of them have included Wales. Each of them has cozy cottages, a pub, some shops, and a church with a squarish steeple in town center. I wonder if you live in such an idyllic village, Cherry!
Bring the warmer temps on in your neck of the woods, my dear! 🙂
Lucky you! So beautiful.
Thank you, Fiona!
When Mark and I lived in the tropics, my mom would always ask whether I didn’t miss the seasons. I didn’t. I like the warmth and the sun better than the seasons. That being said, flowers always bloom in the Caribbean and that was cheerful enough. Now, after three winters in the US, I can’t wait for spring, its birds, its blossoms. Of course, we are located a bit high up to see lots of effect yet, but, it will come. And, I swear, this was our last winter outside of the warmth! Yes, I know, I said that last year as well…
You and I both love the warmth of the sun. We are so spoiled in Florida that we complain if the sun doesn’t shine for a day or two. I suppose you and Mark have some control over where you “roam about,” but it also may depend on your assignments too.
Cheers to a warm spring, Liesbet!
Such a lovely post, Marian. Thank you. I watch for bluebirds first. They came in February this year, built a nest, and then headed back to the woods during snows. When the snow melts, I watch for thousands of tiny lupine leaves in the field, getting a head start to become 3-4 foot tall flowers in June. And the spring song of peepers and the smell of freshly tilled earth. I’m with Anne Lamott.
I gardened a little with both my grandmas, but when I was in 7th grade, Daddy helped me dig up a space in the back yard and we planted green beans, radishes, and I don’t remember what else. That was my first garden. Last fall, my garden got a thick layer of sheep manure and a good tilling. I ordered my organic seeds from Fedco in Maine. They’ll be home when I arrive, but mud season comes before planting season in the northeast.
Gardening keeps you grounded, for sure, and I’m with you in longing for the lupines. I can remember the glorious colors of lupines you posted last year. It sounds as though you will be supplied with seeds which you’ll plant after the earth becomes world becomes “mud-luscious” and perhaps even puddle-wonderful in your neck of the woods.
Thank you for taking the time to connect here while you are on vacation. I am honored, Elaine!
My favorite signs of spring are the first blooms in our yard, helleborus with a white bloom. Then close behind come the forsythia and trillium, and this year our hyacinths gave us their best show ever. Now, our strawberries are blooming and we patiently wait for the juicy red fruit to appear.
But among my favorite spring shows are the birds making the rounds. However, our hummingbird mama hasn’t returned to the nest this year, and methinks it’s because of a new cat we have who loves to nap on our front porch where the nest hangs. I have lovely spring memories of my dad planting a garden in our back yard where he grew strawberries and tomatoes. It was such fun to be his helper. Love Spring! She’s a wonderful season.
I love all of this, Sherrey, especially your referring to spring as a “she,” bountiful as only the feminine can be. You summoned an array of floral colors as I began reading, but then I began to empathize with you about the missing hummingbirds. When we moved over a year ago, I bought a red-glass hummingbird feeder and put in petstore nectar. However, I failed to freshen the liquid often enough. And on and on. No birds appeared. So I took the feeder down over the winter and now I wonder what to do next: Move the feeder to the front of the house . . . plant plumbago under the feeder to attract the birds . . . use a homemade mixture of sugar water?
It can’t be that hard, though at the moment I’m flummoxed. I certainly can’t blame a cat!