Spring is the hopeful season.
The photo is from my friend Karen’s garden ten years ago. Another friend sent me a bouquet of poems, of which this is one of them. I chose this poem of spring written by my long-deceased poet friend, Ryokan, who lived and died long before any of us was born. I love the way he enjoys the unfolding of spring and allows himself to be playful and without care, as he and the children celebrate the day.
Let’s not allow spring to slip by us unnoticed. Each day, take yourself outdoors and go looking for any little crocuses, snowdrops, green shoots, or daffodils that are springing up. Tilt your head to take in the birdsong and smell the subtle fragrances of the forest floor and the flower gardens coming to life. Notice the rising and setting of the sun and how each day gets a tiny bit longer. There is a full moon this week on Sunday. Keep your eyes peeled for that March super-moon, and find a way to celebrate all of the wonders of spring unfolding before our very eyes.
If this were to be our last spring how would you like to spend it, even with the covid-19 constraints? Maybe get your bike out, put air in the tires and cruise the neighborhood cycling trails. Or take a long and glorious walk with a notebook and pencil in your bag. Find a spot every now and then, stop, and sketch what you see, either in words or images.
On the way home, why not buy a bouquet of tulips. This is never a waste of money. Make note of that little leap of joy in your chest, when you glance up from your breakfast and catch a glimpse of color from that special bouquet that epitomizes spring.
With the first spring shower, use it as an opportunity to shower your loved ones with word gifts. Be extravagant, just as spring shows us how to be. Everyday is filled with surprise. Take nothing for granted. Once again, fall in love with life.
A Spring Poem by Ryokan (Japanese monk, 1758 – 1831)
First days of spring — the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything’s turning green.
Carrying my monk’s bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging at my arms till I stop.
I put my bowl on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
“Why are you acting like such a fool?”
I nod my head and don’t answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what’s in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!
Warmest wishes to you all, Trudy