Spring is season of surprises

I like surprises, the good kind—like the toy inside the pink elephant popcorn box or a bouquet of yellow and orange balloons—but not the kind of surprise like popping an inflated paper bag behind me or jumping out from behind the couch to scare me.
I like happy surprises.
Spring is the season of surprises. Before the snow hardly has gone the crocuses bravely are pushing through the frost and soil—the first colour we’ve seen in many months.
We point and smile and nod our head knowingly at winter, bidding it a grateful goodbye.
The trees seem to have been leafless for a lifetime, then all of a sudden they are covered in the newest shade of green. The leaves weren’t there and then they were. Surprise.
Dandelions (my favourite) pop up everywhere overnight, waiting until we’re asleep. “Now,” they shout to one another in unison and all raise their heads. Surprise.
It’s sunshine growing on the ground.
Or the pond that is quiet and still, then one spring evening it comes alive with the chorus of bull frogs and peepers—each one trying to sing louder than the other; like an entire symphony choir or a flash mob singing out at full volume making all who can hear stop short in their tracks and listen.
Surprise.
Or all the songbirds who come back to their favourite tree; who call their early-morning meeting to order and each bird calls out in response to the roll call. “Here,” the robin says. “Squawk,” says the blue jay, thanking Mother Nature for making him beautiful to downplay that harsh voice of his.
The mornings were silent save for winter’s wind and now it’s alive with music. Surprise.
My favourite of all spring surprises is when I happen upon a cluster of daffodils growing where they don’t usually grow. Growing somewhere unencumbered, as if they are rogue daffodils having made a run for it to freedom.
I have just such a cluster of daffodils in the woods behind my house. There, amidst all the browns and greys of lingering winter, they stand with their soft yellow heads atop bright green stems.
Surprise, they say to me, and I can’t help but feel better.
I imagine these daffodils planted by early homesteaders on this land, placing them carefully against modest homes or fences. And over time, the bulbs wander, at night when no one is watching, and they find a quiet spot on the forest floor to begin again.
It’s a bit like life; how sometimes we have to start over, leave the familiar behind or lose what used to define us, and we step into uncertainty—feeling a bit like the yellow daffodils, in a foreign land. But instead of blending in, we stand tall and celebrate this change; this new road we’re on.
“Here I am,” we say, having been lost but now found.
It’s spring.
wendistewart@live.ca

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