My Heart Springs Up!

Hot weather is not my friend. I have less energy, I don’t sleep as well, my mood sinks. Fortunately, where I live, we have only about 10-12 weeks of truly gross weather (it’s the heat and the humidity), and those weeks are still a good way off.

Right now, I’m delighting in early spring.

On mild days, I can open the windows, and for now, in this brief and lovely interval, still no bugs!

The birds are singing again. Birdsong reduces both anxiety and depression (while traffic sounds increase both), and I am blessed to live where the cultivated acres of the valley bump up against the timbered mountainside. We haz birds!

Crocuses. Every fall I plant a few dozen, and after a quarter century of planting a few dozen here and there, these little guys are likely to spring up almost anywhere in my yard. They’ve gone freestyle, and I love it.

Flowering trees. We aren’t there yet, but Maryland does a spectacular job with these. The red bud, dog wood, ornamental cherries, and magnolias go bananas. Add in the azaleas and some irises, and the average springtime Maryland residential street can be pretty wondrous.

Sunshine wins at this time of year. Without leaves on the trees, that old sun is everywhere, and gaining strength by the week without being the nuisance it soon becomes. My house is as full of light now as it’s ever going to be.

My circadian rhythm is happy. I think this is part of the reason I’m so enamored of fall. When the sunlight is too long or too short, I don’t feel as in sync with my sleep cycle as I do during the swing seasons. Years ago, I heard a couple of ladies on Orkney talking about which sleep mask each lady preferred.

The woman who’d been on Orkney for a mere sixteen years said it took her forever to figure out that it wasn’t the tourists that were making her cranky by mid-summer, it was sleep deprivation and lousy sleep. The eighteen hours of sun-above-the-horizon Orkney gets in June were far harder on her system than the eighteen hours of sun-below-the-horizon in December. Gave me something to think about, because I surely do get cranky in summer.

My birthday is in March (despite what I put on Facebook), and growing up, that was always an oasis of joy between the winter holidays and school’s-out in June.

One of my ridin’ buddies is the maternity manager at a horse breeding barn, and every year, she posts “foal watch” pictures on Facebook. When the mares are close to delivery, somebody has to patrol the barn all night, every night. My friend takes a four-hour shift most nights, and so we get pictures of each baby horse to safely arrive into the world. I look forward to her posts every year, and when the first foal hits the ground, I know spring is arriving.

The horses shed ridiculously. One barn even has a “biggest hairball contest.” You keep all the horsehair you’ve brushed from your beastie in the month of March and ball it up for weighing. First prize is a new set of brushes.

And the wonderful thing about my harbingers list is that they come around despite  pandemics, wars, supply chain baloney, or other man-made sources of despair. The joy arrives, and with it comes hope.

Seeing any harbingers in your neck of the woods (or harbingers of autumn for those Down Under)?


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14 comments on “My Heart Springs Up!

  1. We’ve had a lot of robins all winter!
    The daffodils are starting to pop up and the buds are getting bigger on the maples. We had a dusting of snow and are expecting snow Monday-Tuesday. It was 29’ when I walked Greg this morning.

    Greg is about to shed his winter coat while Laci needs to grow coat!

    My cabinets are being shipped on 3/3, so I am looking forward to my new kitchen in the Spring! I will be thrilled to put a vase filled with Celeste ‘s daffodils on my island!

  2. No harbingers yet in my neck of the woods, just lots of snow! I love the change in seasons too, though. I think I like fall the best! If only we could get rid of the change in time zones twice a year and just let the changing times of light so what they’re gonna do…

    • Our little valley doesn’t observe the time change. We’re on the edge of a time zone, so the sign is moved every six months from one side of the valley to the other.

  3. Good evening Grace
    I live a lot farther north than you do and spring is some time off yet. But the light is changing. Morning light comes earlier and the afternoon’s lasts longer. There are starting to be crows out and about. They come well before any robins up here.
    And there are tulips for sale in the grocery store.
    So the harbinger of spring for me is the lengthening of days.

  4. The daffodils are poking their heads up through the ground and that’s not such a good idea here in the Midwest. The weather has been mild this year but anything can happen in Chicago in February and March! And yet, the Daffs will be probably be fine, no matter which way the weather goes in the next few weeks. Much like Midwesterners, those Daffs are resilient.

    I look forward to the spring flowers every year and this year is not exception.

  5. Since I currently live in a warm weather climate, I have been delighting in the profusion of blooming azaleas I can see beside me (well, on the other side of the window of where the computer is). I am the opposite of you, Grace, I guess, because I adore the heat and want to hibernate when the weather gets cooler (I won’t insult you “northerners” by saying “cold”). In fact, last year when our air conditioner went on the fritz, I stayed in the house for several days alone because my partner couldn’t stand the heat and had to go to a hotel to get any sleep. But I was only warmish. For what it’s worth, I was born below the Mason-Dixon line and lived most of my early years in the South (and visited since my Dad was a native Floridian).
    I actually want very much to leave Florida (yes, it’s political) but the warm weather is SUCH a big draw! I’m trying to figure out where I could move that the weather will be moderate at worst but everywhere keeps changing. Los Angeles used to be wonderful but they have mosquitoes now (they didn’t when I lived there in the 1980s and 1990s).

  6. My life in the desert does not accept the spring harbingers with joy. The intense heat of summer and frequently fall is endured. This winter has been just as odd as everywhere else. Today we got rain then hail, then rain again. Now in the late afternoon it is bright and sunny. Oops, ran out of sunblock again.

  7. I have just recently noted becoming knee-deep in cat hair. We only have one kitty now, but I know spring is coming when I dread running my hand down her back since I know I’ll come away with a mitt of hair. It’s their spring ritual of dumping that luxurious winter coat. Thank goodness people don’t do that!

  8. Grass!
    It went from growing 2 inches a month to 3 feet in a week!

    LOL Mary K! I’m also knee deep in cat hair! 😀 It’s the time of year when we have the softest trash in the world! ;p

  9. I’m also in the Northland and we have plenty of time and snow to come before spring. Not waking up in the dark is a lovely sign of spring as is the appearance of more creatures. Not that a rabbit devouring the bushes is welcome per se, but there is something encouraging about more animals and birds in sight.

    Not that I’ve had one in decades, but somewhere in my subconscious I note when the Shamrock shake returns as spring. I guess sometimes childhood associations stick with you.

  10. I love all the spring flowers but I too hate the heat of summer. Here in the deep South the daffodils started to bloom in the last week in January Several kinds of trees are in full bloom and we have had temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s. We finally won the battle with a couple of woodpeckers who wanted to build a nest in our newly painted siding. Metallic streamers carried the day.I zoomed with 4 other people today. They were all bundled up in sweaters but I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. It has seemed strange to see blizzard conditions elsewhere when it has been so warm here.I am going to enjoy the spring as long as I can and hope our 4 months of hot weather does not turn into 5 this year. Thinking of retiring northward where the summers are not as long and the winters aren’t too bad(I hope!) I love all your
    pictures. We need to add some purple crocuses to our yellow ones.

  11. I am in the Northeast, where we are anticipating our first serious snowfall of the winter. In the past weeks, we have been enjoying springlike weather, with temperatures rising into the high 40s many days, so it feels like we passed through a “pseudo-spring” and are belatedly being thrown into what is normal winter weather. However, I do notice that first light is arriving significantly earlier as well as last light disappearing later. I am an early waker, sometimes rolling out of bed by 5:00 am, so getting to enjoy first light by 6:00 am is a delight. For me, summer can’t arrive any too soon. My happy place is floating in my pool and looking out back to see it snow covered is just sad. Stay safe. Stay well everyone!

  12. I’m in the great white north although I live in a micro zone that misses extremes. We got 6 inches of snow accompanied by thunder and lightning last night. Spring is volatile here so I celebrate the first day of Spring without fail. Real summer, no frost, doesn’t arrive until after the first week of June.

  13. The geese are going through by the thousands. The Sandhill Cranes are arriving. Ducks are going through. And the Cedar Waxwings are stripping all the leftover crabapples from the trees.