Monday, February 11, 2013

Countdown to Spring

One would think that on February 11th,
most people's thoughts would be turning to Mardi Gras, which is tomorrow;
or to Valentine's Day which is Thursday.
Or for those who are more civic or history minded
Presidents Day on the 18th.
But no, for some of us, our thoughts have already visited those dates
and then leaped much further into the future:
the first day of Spring, to be exact.

Spring. Even the sound of the word is light and dynamic,
like bubbles adrift on a gentle breeze.
Spring, the subject of poets like Neltje Blanchan (1865 - 1918), who mused:
Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?
Or Oscar Wilde in "De Profundis," who wrote:
All the spring may be hidden in the single bud ... .

photo courtesy of

During the cold chill and sunless days of winter,
my thoughts turn to the hope of spring.
And I'm not alone. 
I found a web site called My Countdown,
and it has a continuous countdown to spring.
As of my writing this morning in the northern hemisphere, 
spring will arrive in exactly 36 days, 11 hours, 12 minutes, and 9 seconds--
and counting.

photo courtesy of

Of course, as American author Henry Van Dyke (1852 - 1933) pointed out,
The first day of spring is one thing,
and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

Mr. Van Dyke has a keen eye for observation;
on the other hand,  I would say that some truths are better left unspoken.
I'm still going to count down to the Vernal Equinox.
It may not turn out to be a spring day,
but it will still be Spring.
And that, we can count on.

No comments: