Wait... what's that? Could it be... spring?

May 7, 2011

We’ve been waiting and waiting for spring to arrive, some of us less patiently than others.  April was a soggy, cold month; we even got a little snow dumped on us as Old Man Winter delivered his final hurrah.

The National Weather Service tells us not to expect miracles in May, either, and lays the blame firmly at the feet of La Nina. That’s El Nino’s little sister, which visits us periodically to unleash some nasty storms to our south and keep things chilly and clammy up here.

But in defiance of all that, spring did arrive in the last few days, in full regalia.

I was stopped at a traffic light during rush hour a couple of days ago and off to my right an enormous magnolia tree caught my eye. It was laden with glorious pink-and-white blooms. The driver behind me, obviously not a nature enthusiast, reminded me with a blast of his horn that I needed to curb my admiration while behind the wheel.

But I couldn’t help myself. On that 30-minute drive home, I felt like Dorothy when she opened the door of her little house after it landed in Munchkinland. Suddenly everything was in Technicolor.

The grass was a vivid green. The daffodils, tulips and forsythia had burst open, and flower beds that had been devoid of life just a few days before were now filled with eye-popping displays of flowers.

It all happened in the blink of an eye.

It happened while our attention was focused on the killing of Osama bin Laden.

It happened while we worried about the price of gasoline, cuts to education budgets and the cost of health care.

Mother Nature has a way of refocusing our priorities – sometimes with a gentle nudge and other times with a solid whack upside our distracted heads.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad she does.