In the spring it feels like something new happens every day. This morning when I got outside with my coffee the fiddlehead ferns had popped up their little drowsy heads overnight. They grow amazingly fast like those little sea monkeys we used to get at the dimestore. Today it’s just their little heads but by the end of the weekend, if it stays warm and sunny, they will be ready for the pan.
I love spring. The first year we lived here I dug a bunch of ferns up in the woods on the knoll behind our smallholding. I planted them around two little rock walls in our yard. Now every year they come up and the ones we don’t eat turn into large drapey ferns making a lush backstory. They have been waiting since last autumn when they last faded away to black. They wait in the dark, under a blanket of snow, for their turn to come again. I saw them for the first time today but of course they have been there all along. Theirs is the sweet promise of spring come true again and again.
Rebirth and renewal are the themes of the season. It is all around us. This week the bright yellow finches have come back too. They sing next to a family of cardinals who having wintered with us and are now getting nudged at the feeder. They nested early during those weird summery days in March and their babies are already big enough to come to the feeder with them while Dad sits on a branch just above. He sits quite still watching and waiting. He reminds me of how we used to sit on the little bench outside the preschool room, moving a little further away each day until finally we left the bench behind. He too has moved a bit higher in the tree. I wonder how long before those growing babies will come to the feeder on their own.
The messages of spring are not subtle. April in the mountains is such a show off. What else can you think of that gets announced by a chorus of birds?