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Soaking in Spring

I’m letting Spring seep into my mind and body. 

            When I got my 2022 At-a-Glance calendar, I drew a big smiley sun face on March 20th.  Here in Middle Tennessee, Spring officially begins at 12:33 P.M. when the vernal equinox marks a time that the direct rays of the sun produce equal day and night. 

            I was taught that on the first days of Spring and Fall the hours of daylight and darkness are twelve hours each.  While that’s not exactly correct, it’s within minutes.  Here in Cookeville, on Sunday, March 20, the sun will rise at 6:50 a.m. and set at 6:58 p.m.  Until June 20, we’ll have sunshine a few minutes longer each day and I’ll track those minutes.    

            Spring brings brightness, a welcomed contrast to winter’s gray and brown.  Yellow daffodils bloom and, even after last week’s snow and frigid temperatures, many still hold their heads high. Because the forsythia bush is my favorite springtime marker and I know where several are blooming, I drive out of my way around town to see them.  Unfortunately, dandelions the weeds I hate most, also bloom so I dig up every one that is near my yard.  

            The world is taking on a vibrant green and soon we can smell the fresh cut grass aroma after lawns are mowed.  Buds swell at the ends of tree and shrub branches, waiting for a few days of warmth and sunshine to unfurl leaves.  Soon blooms on strawberry plants and blueberry bushes promise fresh juicy fruits.

            Anyone who has lived or lives on a farm knows babies are born in the Spring.  For years, my brother’s mare Pepper had a spring colt.  Another mare, a short-timer in my childhood family’s barn, gave birth to Hey Boy and then refused to let him nurse.  That’s a story for another time.

            Papa’s cow birthed twin calves the spring I was 10 and Mom picked me up from school right after lunch so I could watch the newborns come into the world.  Every March, Granny bought baby chicks and those lightweight fluff balls were fun to play with until they began to peck.

             Spring is when gardeners seriously dig in the dirt, first turning the soil to mix the organic matter and letting it absorb more oxygen and dry out for later planting.  Even that earthy, woodsy smell is welcomed. 

            Through windows, I’ve watched birds at birdfeeders all winter, and now I hope bluebirds will build a nest in our backyard bird box.  Soon I’ll hang hummingbird feeders to entice them to sip sugar water and chatter on our front porch.

            Even though it takes a few days to adjust to Daylight Savings Time, I’m happy for more daylight at the end of a day.  It gives time for front porch rocking for Husband and me and longer times for our Grands and neighborhood children to play outside after supper.

            Spring brings brightness and growth and newness. Soak it in.