Spring, the most yearned-for season, is also the most crazy-making. If you have a back yard or a garden, a kind of obsession can take over. You go to a nursery and imagine this in that little empty corner of the front garden, and that in the bed beside the potting shed. You don’t have any room for these lovelies—but you could develop a whole new scene along the driveway. That’s what you’ll do. And so you come home, your car sprouting branches and leaves out the windows and trunk.
It always begins well. But then there are weeds to pull before they utterly take over, and mulch that has to get down now, and tender trees that need fertilizing now, and certain bushes that can only be pruned now, and actually the lawn needs mowing before the party this weekend. You look at your green little children huddled on the back patio, waiting for you to get them into their own comfortable beds, and think, Maybe I can plant them tonight, spade in one hand, flashlight in the other.
The crazy of spring just erupts with all the promise and potential of the season. If we can just get these beauties in the ground, we think, they’ll be a feast for the senses all summer every summer without end, amen.
I was talking with a friend about our spring overreach, how every year we get into a vernal frenzy. Half of what I was supposed to do never got done and yet, I said to my friend, this spring arose more beautiful than I could ever remember. Somehow, I guess, spring fever half boiled my brain and I thought that I was God. That if I didn’t plant Eden, it would not grow this year.
The next day, I read a poem by Mary Oliver about the inscrutable ways of creation. The poem ends,
and not with any assignment from us,
or even a small hint
everything that needs to be done
My fever broke just a bit, enough for me to lay down my scepter, vacate my throne in heaven and come down to Earth. Here I must still do April’s every needful thing, while remembering that in fact it has already been done.