Thinly slicing sweet Fuji apples to bake on parchment-lined trays recently, I happened to glance out our kitchen windows into our backyard. There before me I saw an amazing flurry of activity. A breeze was ruffling the pale triangular jagged-edged leaves on the limbs of our white birch trees. A pencil-sized bumpy gray lizard lay sunning itself on a smooth round rock. Suddenly, a ruby throated hummingbird flitted by, while a Monarch butterfly meandered around our bottle-brush bush. Upon closer view, I saw brown speckled wrens with cinnamon bellies pecking our soft lawn. Next, I spied a yellow patch of crocuses cropping up near our waterfall. Lavender stalks swayed high up on our hill as if waving in a parade. And a large black crow landed on a bough of our neighbor’s eucalyptus tree. Sliding the windows open wide, warmth drifted in carrying with it a symphony of soft sounds. Birds singing, bees buzzing, leaves rustling. Wafting in next were the distinct fragrances of damp earth and new mown grass. Ah, springtime!
While spring officially arrives on Sunday, here in southern California, signs of this gentle season are already making themselves known. Our rose bushes are blooming, perfuming the air. Every shade from chartreuse to hunter green is visible in all directions. Our Dorsey apple tree is showing off its white blossoms, while its fresh green leaves are expanding outward. The raised vegetable beds on our terraces are ready, calling out for new seeds.
Growing up on the east coast I remember welcoming this time of year with open arms, especially after a cold harsh winter. Although the transition here is less dramatic, it is still met with happy hearts. The temperatures become warmer as the days grow longer. Purple wildflowers and golden poppies flourish in meadows and in fields. Citrus trees bear basketfuls of juicy lemons, oranges, and figs. And kids know, spring break will soon be here.
From my journal: March 13, 2017 Newbury Park, California
“We spring forward today! It’ll be lighter for longer now. Each season is so wonderful! Spring = renewal, green grass, mild days and nights, new life and pastels!!”
Spring has so much to offer with all its sensory pleasures. Seeing and smelling fragrant colorful flowers, tasting luscious bites of goodness plucked from fruit trees, hearing birdsong floating on light winds, and feeling the earth while planting a garden of new life. Even if you live in an area not as temperate as here, hopefully some signs of spring are beginning to emerge. Enjoy taking it all in, by simply stepping outside.