When I taught third grade, I asked my students to explain the meaning of the phrase, “Signs of spring are all around.” One English learner thought it meant there were little wooden signs that said, “Spring is here.”
I found myself thinking that we often wander around oblivious of the many signs of spring. This year, in the wake of the pandemic, an unprecedented moment that is touching the lives of everyone on our planet, the signs of spring take on a new meaning.
Here, I turn to poets from many times in history and from many backgrounds. Each one inspires us to open our doors, notice and welcome the many beautiful signs of spring.
In this time of darkness, it is easy to forget that spring will be coming again.
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.
—Hal Borland; AZQuotes
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
—Pablo Neruda; AZQuotes
Let spring into your life, into your heart.
Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!
—Sitting Bull; AZQuotes
And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley; AZQuotes
Go out and feel the spring with every one of your senses – smell its fragrance, look around you, listen, touch it, feel it.
Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?
—Neltje Blanchan; AZQuotes
I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.
—Anne Lamott; AZQuotes
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
—E. E. Cummings; AZQuotes
And lest we forget the rhythms of life and the cycles.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
Every spring I hear the thrush singing in the glowing woods he is only passing through. His voice is deep, then he lifts it until it seems to fall from the sky. I am thrilled. I am grateful. Then, by the end of morning, he’s gone, nothing but silence out of the tree where he rested for a night. And this I find acceptable. Not enough is a poor life. But too much is, well, too much. Imagine Verdi or Mahler every day, all day. It would exhaust anyone.
—Mary Oliver; AZQuotes
I am a big bird winging over high mountains, down into serene valleys. I am ripples of waves on silver seas. I’m a spring leaf trembling in anticipation.
—Maya Angelou; AZQuotes
What signs of spring have you witnessed this year? What poems inspire you? How have they made you feel? Please add your thoughts below.