one of the sure signs of spring’s imminent arrival in our town is when boats start populating the harbor again. big shrink-wrap is removed from cabin cruisers, sailboats and yachts of all sizes and the slips start to fill up, slowly at first and then with abandon.
it was with much glee that, on our hike through the trails in a local forest preserve, i spotted it and called out, “the first dandelion!” i’m aware that not many people get as excited about dandelions as i do, but, for me, this harbinger of spring – along with gentle beauties like lilacs and tulips and daffodils – is cause for celebration. it conjures up images of cups of dandelions in water on my counter, having gone from little-kid-fists to my hands. it makes me think of decades ago, sitting cross-legged in the grass, making necklace chains out of clover. it brings the hope of a new season, the ever-more-constancy of sun and warmth, the season of flip-flops approaching.
with so much uncertainty on the horizon, the drone of winter’s end is taxing. we yearn for a blanket of warm sun, a chance to raise our faces from worry to face the sky, to breathe freshly mown grass, to put our hands in the dirt, cleaning away the debris of the harder times, perhaps preparing to plant.
but this is wisconsin and this is life and nothing is really static. life is fluid as is weather. four days after we celebrated “the first dandelion!” we drove home through a snowstorm, blowing, wet snow covering the courageous pioneers of spring. the thing i try to remember, as the grasp of winter holds tight the reins of this new season, is that they are still there.