Spring is where life is alive in everything. — Christina Rosetti
In the continuum of seasons, again I write of sundry things of spring. With a different slant than last year, though, I’m thinking of seven wonderful, fun bunches of things: ways in which April in Michigan brings life to bloom — at least, for me.
1- Raindrops, rainbows and robins’ return
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. — Rachel Carson
I love Carson’s expression of “the repeated refrains of nature.” There’s power and possibility in these refrains. The resilience of nature inspires heart and soul in springtime; and we remember the Easter season’s miracle of new life and resurrection.
In April, raindrops bring rainbows. Robins return with their joyful songs to uplift our winter-weary spirits. Healing resounds in the refrain; always after the rain comes the rainbow.
2- Awakening, anticipation and appreciation of beautiful blooms to come
The blossom already exists in the seed. — Van Gogh
Amazing April awakens our spirit, as we absorb the potentiality of the planting season in anticipation of what blossoms will come. Inspired to take action, we plant our gardens. In patient gratitude we wait… allowing the germination process to work its magic. We know we’ll be rewarded abundantly in the end.
April teaches us to appreciate the process, to feel good about brightening our own little corner of the world. We can make our own statement in a variety of ways.
A waitress in a favorite restaurant is doing just that, with the affirmation of word art tattooed on her arm: Find joy in the journey.
When she works the table, patrons can’t help but notice. As she whisked by our group one day, I asked her about it.
Find joy in the journey, to her, means appreciating all that her life means. No matter what happens, it reminds her, she says, to count her blessings, being grateful for her health, her family and all that she has.
While I’m not sure I’d do a tattoo, I admire her heart-felt affirmation and her willingness to put it on the line…on her arm for the world to see. She definitely brightened my day. I came home thinking about finding joy in the journey.
3-Inspiration to ignite ideas, imagination, and intention
The idea of something around the corner gives radiance to everything. — GK Chesteron
In April, creative spirit takes root; our intuition kicks in, firing our imaginations. We dream of summer gardens. The new season of planting and growth offers an opportunity to create a new garden, a new story.
As we bask in the glow of our new-found intentions, we feel the radiance and it shows in the new spring in our step.
4- Nurturing, nesting, and nudges in the night
We can discover nourishment in the secret landscapes of imagination and spirit. –John O’Donohue
While days become longer, in April dark nights soothe our souls with the secret landscapes of dreams that nourish our intentions.
In April, we sense the nesting of creatures great and small in the cycle of life that spring brings. Its mystery astounds us once again. Our ears hear the music of nighttime peepers; while our eyes can still see through leafless branches to oceans of stars.
The International Dark-Sky Association seeks to help to preserve our “natural nights,” working since 1988 to raise awareness of vanishing starry nights to light pollution.
Dark Sky Week in April inspires us to “celebrate the beauty of the night.”
Michigan is home to an approved International Dark-Sky Park. The Headlands Park in northern Lower Peninsula’s Emmett County is on a mission…to enhance our nighttime visual experience, that many of us miss due to our skies being lit up with so many lights.
5 – Biking, birding, and bees being
Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t,they should,for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers. — Ray Bradbury
In April in Michigan, I can finally enjoy my bike which — along with walking — is a favorite way to exercise and be out in nature. It’s great just being outdoors, observing the birds, watching bees discovering crocuses, spotting the first butterfly of the season…simply allowing me to be me.
Buzzing bees get going with their work of pollination, reminding me to not only be, but to get busy, as well. Bees seem a metaphor for balance in life. They’re busy buzzing and doing, but the journey includes being, while dusting their feet with spices from flowers.
6 – Opening windows, opening doors, opening day
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing of the birds has come, and the voice of the turtle [dove] is heard in the land. — The Song of Solomon 2:11,12
In April, finally we can think about opening windows, hearing robins chirping at dawn, tuning in to doves cooing, as the “voice of the turtle is heard in our land” and baseball begins. It’s spring. Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, if you’re an American, you know the declaration of baseball’s Opening Day. Beginning again, a new season has arrived.
Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers is no longer officially heralded by the late iconic sports broadcaster Ernie Harwell’s quote of Solomon — but it’s not (to use Harwell’s words) “long gone.” Michiganders still enjoy the memory.
I happened upon a wonderful article by Michigan author and educator John J. Miller, who wrote in his blog post, Hey Miller, about The Voice of the Turtle on May 10, 2010 after Harwell’s passing.
“In the King James Bible,” he points out, “the verse really does refer to the ‘voice of the turtle.’ And that’s how Harwell actually spoke the line. Yet many modern editions of the Bible refer to the “voice of the turtledove.”
The Harwell tradition maybe be long gone, but some things don’t change about Opening Day symbolism. As Detroit Free Press writer Mitch Albom wrote in his April 7 column, Opening Day About Tradition, Change for Tigers, “This tradition stays the same, Opening Day in Motown, the unofficial declaration that says, ‘Go suck an egg, winter, we survived again.’”
Yes, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, and baseball is heard again in the land.
7- Wild woods, wild things, wild running waters, willows, winds and wings
Run, my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious, budding wings.– Hafiz
April brings out the wild in us after a long winter slumber. We find joy in the journey into the woods and onto the waters.
It’s time to get out and play. Time for running, with pinwheels whirring and painted kites soaring. Time to haul out the boats and fishing poles, unearth the camping gear and get the bonfires glowing.
Life is alive in everything in April.
April inspires us to celebrate the wild wonders of our planet. It’s the month for Earth Day — now celebrating 45 years, with this year’s emphasis on poverty, climate change and being a global citizen.
It’s the month of Dr. Jane Goodall’s birthday, now 81. Goodall’s on tour this month, talking about her lifetime of work with chimpanzees in Africa. The Disney documentary ‘Monkey Kingdom’ is out this April.
April’s the birthday month for John James Audubon (1785-1851), world renowned naturalist and painter of birds. It’s the month for Arbor Day and thinking about traversing forests and planting trees.
April is a great month for eco-thoughts and eco-intentions. It’s kick-off time for the growing season — both environmental and personal — and resolving to strengthen our “precious, budding wings.” I’m glad it comes around each year.
My husband, whose birthday’s in April, received a birthday card from my sister that said, “Birthdays are a lot like dandelions, no matter what you do they come up every year.”
I smiled as I read it. Thank heavens dandelions do that…come up every spring. They’re a perfect reminder that life goes full circle; and when you look to the rainbow, after the rain, life’s alive and blooming in everything.
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