It’s easy to get eager at this point in the year. A month and a half after Groundhog Day, we’re at St. Patrick’s, and just a few days from the equinox itself. Around these parts we’ve had some warm weather after last weekend’s bomb cyclone and most of the snow is now gone. We’re ready for progress. We’re tired of winter and huddling indoors. The crocuses are defiantly open although the warning saying in Wisconsin went “three snows on the crocuses.” St. Patrick’s green is the fecund green of spring. Although nobody gets them off from work, the seasonal holidays are signs of hope. It doesn’t matter which season into which we’re transitioning, there’s beauty ahead. It’s the kind of change many people enjoy.
Look closely at a flower. (If the crocuses aren’t up yet in your area they will be soon.) Open and inviting, it offers insects what they need in return for a bit of cross-pollination. Yesterday I saw my first wasp looking for a place to build a nest on our house, reminding me to be careful opening doors now because no transition is completely smooth. Spring is hope in season form. As much as we may appreciate winter with its pristine chill, spring reminds us that food is soon to be available from the bosom of the earth itself. The songbirds, now back in force, have been eagerly anticipating it. They are the heralds of transition, the little winged messengers of assurance.
It’s time to step outside and breathe deeply. The muddy smells of a thawing earth blend with the first fruity hints of buds beginning cautiously to open. The transition’s not straightforward. There will be setbacks and chills yet to come. Nevertheless, the die is cast—St. Pat waves his clover as if to say “This is what lies ahead, as brown becomes green.” Our world tilts as it spins and brings us the delight of seasonal changes. Saints and birds and flowers must agree on this, even should they differ on the details of what is needful. It’s a day for celebration, even though it’s a Thursday, a work day with perhaps a respite—after hours of course—to have some fun. Green is about to reappear. We wear it today to encourage the timid plants, yes, we need hope. We look around the world and know that hope is what we really all crave.