From Christina: It is with great pleasure today that I welcome author Ava Armstrong to Time for Love. She’s sharing a few thoughts about springtime in New England. Enjoy!
Springtime in Maine
by Ava Armstrong
Spring is a gradual process in Maine, but it always has the same effect on me, filling me with hope that better days will come. I have friends and family who escape to southern states to avoid the mud season. Being a New Englander, I couldn’t imagine missing the majesty of spring, watching the birds return and the Forsythia blooming brightly against the stark landscape of dried mud and naked trees. Early spring always makes me feel rejuvenated. This year, spring is arriving later than usual. Two days ago, walking in the front yard I noticed the beautiful Hyacinth, brightly purple, blooming. It was a pleasant surprise. The robins are now taking over the lawn. They are working busily to find food and build nests. Buds are forming on the trees, a yellow-green color, furled tightly still against the cool spring air. The sun will eventually coax the buds to open, always a glorious miracle to witness.
The ground is a soggy mess, but the grass is just starting to green ever so slightly. I tread lightly in my rubber slip on boots. The sound of stepping on the lawn makes a squishy sucking sound. There are some areas that the wind has dried up. The woodchucks are actively seeking prospects for food. They look like little balls of furry fat as they scurry out from underneath the garden shed. They are adorable but I will put the fence around the garden to discourage them.
The pine trees show signs of suffering through the harsh winter. This year we got 33 extra inches of snow, breaking a record I think. The bark is dark and there are sections missing. No doubt animals needed nourishment during the harsh cold spells. One tree in particular is very old. A colony of insects has taken up residence, it seems. One good thing about that is the ground water will be replenished by Mother Nature and there will be no drought conditions early in the season.
A few insects have already come to life awakening as if from a drunken stupor. On days when the wind dies down, the only sounds are the birds chirping and an occasional dog barking off in the distance. Adjusting my chair, I can usually find a windless place to sit in the sun and read a book for an hour or two, a wonderful pleasure missed during the cold indoor winter months.
Maybe that’s why a New Englander is so appreciative of these tiny, gradual changes. The long winter makes us appreciate every little bit of warmth so much more. The changing of the seasons follows the cycle of life, with spring representing the beginning of everything anew. It’s as if we can start over every year. Wipe the slate clean. Bring new people into our lives, make new friends, see something new every spring, plant new flowers or vegetables, read new books. Simple pleasures are most often the best. The simple pleasures of springtime are a salve for the soul.
My friends have e-mailed me from the southern climes telling me about how hot it is already. I feel like they are missing the greatest show on earth!
Ava Armstrong lives in a small town in New England. An avid reader and gardener, she’s always found writing to be a enjoyable means of self-expression. She is a wife and mother who loves animals, especially dogs.
Her novel, A Sense of Duty, was recently published and is available at Amazon.