A Fragile Spring


By Don Jackson, May 2011
Former host of one of Canada's most popular radio shows spanning three decades.
Author, broadcaster, storyteller.

He came into my life as the warm wind of spring had awakened flowers, as the April showers awaken the earth. My love for him was an unchanging love, high and deep, free and faithful, strong as death. Each year I learned to love him more and more.
Anna Chenault

I cleared away the last few vestiges of rotten snow that has eluded the warm rays of the sun these past few days and, in one little corner, I found our crocuses in full bloom. They, too, have survived deep in the ground and under tons of snow waiting for that one ray of spring sun to entice them to open their eyes. Everywhere you look, the world seems enchanted by the promise as it stirs from its long winter’s sleep.

Enter these enchanted woods,
You who dare...
George Meredith
Now spring has come
No one knows how.
Excerpt from ‘Primavera’ by Antonio Machado y Ruiz

The Native Americans believed that a wish made upon the sight of your first robin will come true.

In the afternoon, the crackling of the fire and the calling and singing of the birds without formed a soothing lullaby and she fell asleep. At last, in a dream, she heard exquisite music which appeared to grow so loud, strong and triumphant that she started up and looked around bewildered. A moment later, she saw that a robin was singing in a lilac bush by the window and that near the bird was a nest partially constructed. She recalled her hopeless grief when she had last seen the building of one of their little homes; and she fell upon her knees with a gratitude too deep for words, and far more grateful to heaven than words.
Excerpt from ‘He Fell In Love With His Wife’ by Edward P. Roe

Again, from this book by Edward P. Roe:

‘Oh, how beautiful, how strangely beautiful it all is!’
‘Yes, when you come to think of it, it is real pretty,’ he replied. ‘It's a pity we get so used to things that we don't notice 'em much. I should feel miserable enough, though, if I couldn't live in just such a place. I shouldn't wonder if I was a good deal like that robin yonder. I like to be free and enjoy the spring weather, but I suppose neither he nor I think or know how fine it all is.’
‘Well, both you and the robin seem a part of it,’ she said, laughing.
‘Oh, no, no,’ he replied with a guffaw which sent the robin off in alarm, ‘I ain't beautiful and never was.’
She joined his laugh, but said with a positive little nod, ‘I'm right, though. The robin isn't a pretty bird, yet everybody likes him.’
‘Except in cherry time. Then he has an appetite equal to mine.’
(Pages 218-219)

One of the reasons why I like this book so much, is the fact that this took place at a time when my grandmother was alive. She was a farm wife, too. The book gave me insight into a time long since past. And it also reminds me that robins have been returning in spring long before we were born, and will no doubt return long after we're no longer here.

This has to be one of the most beautiful descriptions of spring I've read. It comes from the former editor of ‘Victoria’ magazine, Nancy Lindemeyer, in the March 1991 issue:

If summer is a symphony in full concert, then spring is a delightful string quartet, a time of the softest beauty. The notes are delicate ones, as spring flowers are fragile things.

So, too, are the love affairs that have their beginning in spring.

Don Jackson, May 2011


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