Every day that I am out walking, I see new growth on trees, the shrubs are flowering, and flowers are blooming everywhere, showing off petals or fragrance. And even though I experience Spring annually, it never fails to lift my spirits. The pandemic has been a hardship for so many, for such a long time, and for so many reasons, and yet my heart yields to Spring without fail. Although we enjoy a lovely climate year-round here in southern California, Spring is still a delight. And when I think of Spring, I always think of this poem. I had to memorize it as a freshman in college and it’s these words that come to mind in Spring. I never lived in England, but I lived through winters in Chicago and Kansas and Pennsylvania. When Spring arrived there it was just as glorious as Robert Browning described below in “Home Thoughts From Abroad”
Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
10 years ago I put together a spring playlist. It included classic classical pieces like Appalachian Spring and Vivaldi’s Spring and Peer Gynt. It included You Must Believe in Spring and Waters of March (the Portuguese is as enjoyable as the English). “I Like Birds” by the Eels also made the list. What poems or songs are on your Spring playlist?