A hundred shades of green flushing across the trees, an errant yellow daffodil, pink and white blossoming fruits – the colors of spring are as delicate as they are welcome. Little wonder, then, that a primary celebration of spring – the Christian festival of Easter – should be a season of pastels. Easter baskets, dyed eggs, little girls’ dresses, greeting cards and candies are awash in lilac and lemon, baby-cheek pink, soft peach and plum.
Even those who don’t celebrate Easter as a religious occasion enjoy the profusion of new life it heralds, the verdant growth and wash of color after the long, monotoned winter. It’s always fun to track the seasons as they saunter about the country and Spring is especially interesting, walking hand-in-hand as she does with a companion called “seasonal jealousy” – the anguished longing of still-snowbound folk forced to watch their more-southerly friends luxuriate in the rising warmth.
But spring is more complex than luscious color and delicate growth. A time of transition, it also brings destruction, the inevitable result of implacable, colliding forces. Winter refuses to yield. Spring will not be denied. Tornados, ice jams, flooding and hail result and become the breaking news of the day. This year, Texas added fire to the mix, a deadly consequence of the same extended drought which eliminated so many of the state’s celebrated bluebonnets.
With friends living both in Canada and across Texas’ drought-stricken plains, it’s been impossible not to think of this year’s spring as a season of fire and ice. Extraordinarily late thaws and extraordinarily early drought are a strange combination, one that evokes Robert Frost’s famous juxtaposition. Continue reading