As the trees begin to unfold their foliage, I am drawn to the imagery of D.H. Lawrence in his poem The Enkindled Spring:
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
As Lawrence points out, Spring is not all happiness and flowers. Spring has followed winter, full of our discontent and darker musings. We emerge from the cold with fire, but not without shadows. And like any shadow, we are reminded that our being casts meanings far beyond this present moment.
So, I say: yes, celebrate spring! and let us do so in recognition of the travails we have passed through, and with Spring’s strength, the travails yet to come.