I see Spring everywhere. Especially in the Tennessee Mountains. She’s bustin’ out all over. Let me attempt to help you savor her too. And to encourage you not to be a secret voyuer. Plunge into her and engage with all your being and with all your senses.
Spring usually melts her pretty white overcoat and the blue-gray layers of icy clothing. She then dons her sheer pastel cotton skirts. She naughtily lifts them up, showing off the promise of that garden Solomon sings about, and the sun, now higher in the sky, warms her pretty behind. Before you know it, she starts sashaying around and flounces about performing the sensual business of shedding a frigid winter.
She is a fertile garden unlocked, a trickling spring, and a warm fountain. Her branches bud the promise of orchards. Colorful leaves, greens painted with chartreuse, sage, lime, olive, and emerald. Around her delicate neck, she wears dainty necklaces of shamrock clovers tickling her décolletage.
Trees of every color—the pink and ivory blossoms of pears, the fuchsia clusters of redbuds, and the sun bright golden forsythias. The glossy dark green leaves of the Southern Magnolia play host to large white blooms. She is a garden spring. Goodbye, O north wind, and come O south wind. Breathe on her gardens, and smell the fragrance of the cherry and dogwoods—of life.
But alas, there were no north winds of winter at the farm this year—nor the year before. No white blanket of snow nor sparkling ice. Rather a prolonged colorless Autumn. Fall melting into Spring and then way too soon, a seemingly endless and relentless Summer.
Man has done his work. He has dominion over all the earth. And it is no longer a Garden of Eden. Humanity is heeding their Adamic god’s command, subduing and dominating Mother Earth, leaving her gasping and barren. Hot and spent. And ultimately useless.
Soon there will be evening, and there will be mourning—the final day of winter. Forever. And man, who blindly rapes the earth in the name of his thoughtless god will look upon all that He has pillaged, and indeed, it will be deplorable.
But for now, at least, there is Spring.
Shiny orange and black hordes of lady beetles from Asia invade and haunt our American homes each Hallowe’en—to escape a winter that did not come—emerge from our walls with their noxious stains and acrid smells and topple around like drunken sailors. A wing pops out and then two, more toppling, now a flutter and then a whir, and soon they cover our windows, blocking the light until we open them to Spring, and like garishly costumed goblins they fly away to breed their ghastly minions. Only to return too soon.
As these foreign invaders depart, natural inhabitants appear as if by magic. The Indigo Bunting returns singing with cheerful gusto and looking like a piece of blue sky with wings. These cerulean canaries serenade the advent of Spring with a beautiful and cheer-inducing song. Also echoing from the treetops comes another delightful herald of Spring, the rich, whistling song of the Baltimore Oriole. The male’s brilliant orange plumage gleams as he sings his distinctive melody from the highest branches.
Our whitetail deer sport another harbinger of the nubile season. Their dull and stiff coat of grays and browns have transformed into vibrant and soft raw siennas. This change occurs to give them a cooling jacket that is more appropriate for the warm days. They have renewed energy, cavorting in our meadows like children on a playground. The spring is a hectic but fertile season for them, filled with late pregnancies, giving birth, and then starting to raise new fawns. This is why during the Spring time you may see does and their fawns out playing together.
One of the most astounding events in nature occurs in your backyard. American Goldfinches molt their body feathers and transform from drab, olive birds into the most spectacular of brilliant sun-yellow beauties. The transformation is no less dramatic than the opening of a flower bud. Nearly every songbird replaces all of its feathers in autumn, shortly after the heavy burden of the breeding season ceases.
Come spring, these species molt small colorful feathers covering the head and body. Just in time to impress females, male goldfinches trade their tan for brilliant yellow feathers on their bodies, and a striking black cap on the head. Their blackish beaks become bright gold. Because their wing feathers are not replaced, the whitish edges have worn off by May, so their wings become strikingly black for the breeding season as well.
Male Cardinals become a brilliant red and can be seen flitting, flirting, and dancing through the budding trees with their mates. Like so much else in nature, it all comes down to sex. Females are more likely to mate with males that have bright, colorful back feathers and bills.
This preference of females for brighter males is not just an arbitrary fashion decision. Evolution has led to this system of female choice because brighter colors actually indicate to females which potential mates have better health and genes. Here’s to bright colors!
Spring is a delightful time of joy, and it screams color. As the weather gets warmer and we humans move outdoors, we are also inspired and seduced by bright sexy clothes and daring fashions. It is about feeling and sensing, being more in touch with our body, mind, spirit, soul, and the natural world. Let’s take time for a multi-sensory experience of this voluptuous season.
Let’s welcome tactile sensations: deeply feel our feelings, fully sense our energy, and empathically discern the energy of those around us by being genuinely curious about the garden of life. It’s no wonder Solomon’s songs were so sensual and erotic. Paying full attention to the celebration and rebirth of nature can create a stimulating landscape for a feverish, erotic, and fertile Spring season. I hope we all are deliriously smitten with the fever of Spring.