Poetry Friday: Cold Spring

h1 April 4th, 2008 by eisha

crocuses in the snow

Hellooooooooooooooooo, spring!

This morning, on my way to work, I finally saw some crocuses starting to bloom, and I think until that moment I hadn’t realized just how bad I needed to see something green. I almost cried with relief.

I really, really like winter. And snow. No, serious, I do! What I don’t like, weather-wise, is too many days in a row of the same thing. This winter felt like one long five-month stretch of 30-degree-highs, grey skies, and fitful snow flurries, punctuated by an occasional serious snowstorm that would coat everything in prettyness for a few hours, but ultimately just add another layer to those icy piles of crud that build up along the edges of the sidewalks.

Yeah, I needed a little green already.

This week I got it. Not just the crocuses – there’s grass! Buds on tree branches! There’s even little spiky blades of stuff that might be daffodils and tulips soon! (I know, people, we don’t even have daffodils yet – see how bad it is?)

We can’t get too cocky about it yet, though. It’s still cold. Sure, it’s sunny, but there’s a fierce wind out there that does not permit the shedding of coats and scarves. Not just yet. But that’s okay by me – the sun and the green are enough for now. They’ve shaken me out of my winter huddle-under-a-blanket-drinking-cocoa doldrums. It feels like change out there, like newness, like possibility, like the start of something… and it makes me want to start something too. It makes me want to stand up, toss that blanket on the couch, stretch, look around, and… I dunno, misspend whatever’s left of my youth?

It’s the kind of weather that makes you wonder where the past year has gone – for that matter, where the past 34 years have gone. It makes you wonder if you’re wasting your life away; wonder if you could be doing more, living more. Maybe it’s time to figure out what you really want to do with the rest of your life, and just go do it already.

I love it when I find a poem that perfectly expresses what I’m feeling right at that moment. Today it’s “Cold Spring” by Lawrence Raab:

The last few gray sheets of snow are gone,
winter’s scraps and leavings lowered
to a common level. A sudden jolt
of weather pushed us outside, and now
this larger world once again belongs to us.
I stand at the edge of it, beside the house,
listening to the stream we haven’t heard
since fall, and I imagine one day thinking
back to this hour and blaming myself
for my worries, my foolishness, today’s choices
having become the accomplished
facts of change, accepted
or forgotten.

I love that phrase “sudden jolt of weather.” That’s exactly what this week felt like. Read the rest, and you’ll be treated to the equally delicious phrase “first splurge of crocuses.”

There’s also my favorite line of all: “If I’m not happy it must be my own fault.” Brrr. That’s about as bracing as Ithaca’s spring wind.

*** edited to add… ***

Becky’s on round-up detail at Becky’s Book Reviews. Good stuff is blooming all over the blogs today. Check it out!

12 comments to “Poetry Friday: Cold Spring”

  1. ah, “the first splurge of crocuses.” i love it. what a beautiful poem. i wanna hang this one up.

  2. Hellooooooo, Eisha!

    Those crocuses look cold. They’re very brave. Glad you’re finally seeing some signs of a reluctant Spring up there. You’re right, the poem describes it perfectly.

  3. What would we do without the natural world to wake us, time and time again? Thank God for splurges of crocuses.

  4. I wassurprised at the slowness of spring in NJ. At my aunt’s place, the daffodils are not yet in bloom. What a treat with those crocuses. And what a fabulous poem.

  5. Yay for crocuses!!! I am so glad to see this photo. I have to say, though, I don’t much like that line about not being happy being my own fault.

  6. Hi Eisha:

    I posted this one sometime in March when I was hopeful about spring too 🙂 It’s a wonderful poem. Simply great.

    We got 1 and 1/2 inches of wet, wet snow. Yesterday. On April 3. I’ve given up. (Well, it’s 60 degrees today and beautiful, so I guess things are better.)

  7. Hey, all. Thanks for the props – glad those of you who are already deep in spring are enjoying it, and glad those of you who are still waiting can keep me company.

    cloudscome, I see your point. There’s certainly a lot of potential unhappiness that’s not within our control. But I think in this case, it’s more in terms of choices and consequences, you know? And that really resonates with me. I’m someone who has to keep reminding myself, when I find myself in an unhappy situation like a lousy job or whatever, that I’m not trapped – I can choose to leave and be broke, or choose to stay and suck it up. And I can choose to find whatever happiness I can in what my choices bring. Dig?

    Kelly, I so did not mean to bite on your poetic choices. But maybe it just means we both have good taste and live in very very cold places. I hope there are crocuses in your very near future.

  8. Eisha,

    That’s a great poetry selection. I can certainly relate to it–seeing that I’m living in New England. I, too, like snow and winter–but there comes a time when I feel like saying: “Enough snow and cold already!” When winter and cold finally–and completely–succumb to spring, it’s like the world outside my house has been reborn…with new sights and sounds and smells.

    It’s been pretty gray and cool here this past week. I’d welcome more than one day of sun at a time.

  9. I love the “splurge of crocuses” (great picture, too!). I’m also a winter fan (but especially an autumn fan), but what I’ve realized is that I like actual SEASONS. Like you, if I have to live with the same thing too long, it becomes a slog…especially if it’s summer.

  10. […] Image via Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. […]

  11. Those crocuses were so beautiful, I just had to pick them. I have featured the picture and your wonderful blog on mine, Simple Saturday, giving you full credit for the splendor. I do hope you don’t mind. Happy Spring!

    Debbie Gonzales

  12. Hi, there! I stumbles-upon this blog b/c I was searching for just the right photo of crocuses to put in a book I am “publishing” for my mother. I wrote a short story about my mother, using our love for gardening (hers & mine) as a metaphor for our relationship. Long story.
    I am using a self-publishing site to make this book more appealing.
    May I use your beautiful photo of crocuses in the snow in this book?
    Hope so!

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