Spring has always been my favorite season of the year. Given the challenges of the past year, the promises of the coming Spring seem especially rewarding. Since March of 2020, we have lived with the Coronavirus, the nation’s economic challenges, racial turmoil and the disputes about the past election. What do we do now?
The past week has given me optimism about our future. Nature has a way of doing that. To begin with, the Japanese Magnolias began to bloom. Though they are not as prevalent in Auburn as they were in Donalsonville, they still show their pink blooms at the earliest hint of Spring.
The tulips came just a few days later. We have 900 tulips in our yard this year. Last year they were all red. This year they are a combination of pink, orange, red and white. They shout out the changing of the season with colorful brilliance.
Daffodils and buttercups showed up next followed by Bradford pears with their bright white blooms. It all seemed to happen overnight. The dark dreary days of Winter gave way to a kaleidoscope of colors. On top of all that, the trees start to show their greenery giving a soft background where the harsh bareness of Winter once dominated.
Cherry trees showcase their pink blooms and give a glow as the sun shines through the blooms. In Donalsonville, the radiance in our bedroom from the morning sun filtering through the cherry trees outside our window caused our entire room to glow pink. It was as if nature was awakening us each morning with a rosy light.
Spring is not just about flowers. This past Saturday, Mary Lou and I attended the last Auburn basketball game when Coach Bruce Pearl claimed his 600th win as a head coach. This was Auburn’s last game of the season. That same afternoon, we watched our first baseball game of the year as Auburn played Boston College’s nationally ranked team.
Of all the sports we follow, there is nothing quite like a baseball game on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Spring. Auburn won by the lopsided score of 16-1. Spring was in the air and everyone was having a good time.
Seventy degrees. Sunny skies. Robins flying around every branch of the trees trying to bud. Spring is emerging, on the heels of the most challenging year of most of our lifetimes. You can sense the awakening of nature, the sense of renewed hope.
Today, within one hour of each other, I learned that both of our daughters and their husbands are scheduled to get their vaccines. In just a few weeks, we will be able to hug each other, gather at Compass Lake, and hold our grandchildren in our arms.
Spring is always an awakening of my soul and my spirit. In the aftermath of the most devastating and challenging year of my life, Mary Lou and I, along with her Dad and my Mom are vaccinated. Our children will soon be following in our footsteps. That knowledge is as bright as the tulips in our yard.
Spring has sprung. God is good. Enjoy all the beauty that nature gives to us and give thanks for the medical advances that are so quickly changing the face of this terrible pandemic.
It is not a time to be reckless and let our guard down completely because the virus is not done yet, but it is a time to express joy and celebrate the changes all around us. Finally, Spring is here.
Dan Ponder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org