Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Best Time of the Year

The best time of the year has arrived here in Houston - spring time.  Our coastal city has shrugged off the vestiges of winter, welcoming the green accouterments common to this portion of the seasonal cycle.  Our fields explode with color, the bare skeletons of trees are once again filled in with verdant life, and birds sing invitations to emerge from our hovels to enjoy the renewed earth.
Spring began early this year, if a little fitfully (as I referenced a couple of months ago in a political leaning post Wildflowers, Flip-Flops, and the GOP).  Warm weather briefly pushed through the mild winter, thoroughly confusing the circadian rhythms found in our ecosystem.  Some trees budded early, wildflowers burst from the soil with a fervor typically reserved for March and April, warm-weather clothing made an escape from the backs of drawers.  For a while, we seemed to have a battle between seasons - a week of winter here, a week of spring there - and neither could seem to overcome the other.  
Until now.
Appropriately enough, Spring Break 2012 heralded the true coming of Spring 2012.  The warm weather was ushered in with an outpouring of rain, adding to our particularly wet year.  Though we still fly towards the Vernal Equinox, the calendar beginning of the spring season, our climate is already there.
Spring time for me is a time for shorts and flip-flops, a time to put away the coats, sweaters, and scarves.  It is a time of warm sun and cool breezes, of sitting on the patio and enjoying a beverage or two.  It is a time of balance.
Spring time also brings birds to the limbs of trees, singing songs of the earth’s beauty.  Slow bees buzz amongst the flowers, collecting and distributing pollen to ensure next year’s spring time floral explosion.  Green pushes through muddled brown bark as fresh new growth stretches towards the sun.
While I usually do some precursor work in my flowerbeds and yard in February - pruning the roses and crepe myrtles, fertilizing the yard - most of my work is done during Spring Break.  On Wednesday, after the rain settled down, I finally got into the yard for some good, hard work.  I dug holes and filled them with plants, removed overgrown bushes and weeds, dead-headed the roses, excavated a failed drainage project, built a base for my sinking outdoor storage cabinet, and cleared out winter junk from the flower beds.  I finished my day happy, stinky, and sporting a red shade on my shoulders a lobster would be proud of.
Despite the burning pain, I loved every minute of it.  I worked again on Friday and Samantha joined in with me Saturday.  Now my yard is just about finished, needing only a few more bags of mulch and a little bit of top soil.
Now, I get to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labors.  As we delve further into the seasonal cycle, I hope that spring will fend off summer as long as it can, maintaining the beautiful feeling the combination of springtime delights delivers to my joyful heart.  If not, and the heat of summer comes when called, I am certain to find a slew of summer characteristics in which I can find a similar joy.

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