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BY THE WAY

Longtime columnist just thankful to be able to enjoy another spring

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 12:01 am

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a poem my father frequently quoted. It reads, “If I should live to be / The last leaf upon the tree / In the spring, / Let them smile, as I do now.”

And my dad explained to me that each year he waited for spring to appear – in all its glory – and he would say “Thank you” to the powers that be for letting him live to see another spring.

I understand that now. I don’t know a lot of people who have been blessed with so many springs as I.

In fact, I was rather amused when I received an email from some yearbook company telling me that three former classmates had contacted it to get information on me and my whereabouts.

I laughed. And I didn’t buy the yearbook the company was dangling in front of me, because I already had it.

But this year more than ever I can appreciate my father’s intense pleasure at living to see another spring and what a spring it is turning out to be.

Today the door to the screened porch is wide open, and PeeDee and I have been lounging out there admiring the expanse of lawn, which is now brilliantly green, and watching the birds at the feeder and inhaling the fragrance of the blue and purple and white hyacinths blooming close to the porch.

Out front the golden daffodils are waving at the walkers and the bicyclists passing by. All over in various spots flowers and plants have made their way up, reminding us of the immense beauty of this season.

I know some of you will say we deserve a lovely spring because of the miserably cold and snowy winter we have lived through. But every spring is a gift. It’s a renewal; it’s a promise; it’s a new beginning.

The Renaissance that began in Italy many centuries ago was a rebirth of beauty, too, one that still enriches our lives.

Well, here in Indiana we may not have that immense a rebirth, but Parkview Field is offering baseball again, and what says “spring” more clearly than baseball? I guess the fact that golf carts are making the rounds again is also a solid sign of spring.

I am feeling the itch so many persons have to stir up the dirt in the planters and fill them with the plants and flowers that will bloom all summer long, but we know that patience must prevail here.

Don’t “they” say we should wait until Mother’s Day to trust the weather for planting?

So that’s what we’ll do; we’ll wait. But in the meantime, there is so much to enjoy. I can hardly wait for the redbud to burst into its glory again. But next the tulips will add their regal beauty and exquisite colors to the yard, and I can sit back and look around and glow and say, “Thank you for allowing me to see another spring.”

Betty E. Stein is a retired teacher in Fort Wayne.