Over the last nineteen first days of spring, I have been confronted with piles of snow or snow actively falling out of the sky. My biggest goal for the day usually was not falling on the slippery ice while walking the dogs or shoveling the walk.

Flowers laid dormant under that layer of snow. The smell of dirt was still weeks or even months away. The temperatures warmed all the way into the thirties and forties. People celebrated the great spring skiing.

I dreamed of crabapple blossoms and became a bit more dreary with each snowflake.

Here, on the first day of spring, little birds flutter from branch to branch. Their chirps mingle with squirrels chattering at our dogs as they scamper across the lawns. Daffodils showed up weeks ago. Trees began blossoming at the beginning of March. The sun shines out of a blue, blue sky onto grass which is beginning to green.

First Day of Spring 2017

I rejoice.

I have been waiting for the southern springtime. Growing up in Arkansas, spring was always marked by colorful blossoms and bright greens. The smell of the air turned into freshly turned dirt. Outdoor noises expanding into cheeps and chatters and clicks. Spring meant Easter and new Sunday clothes and feeling the sun lying lightly on my shoulders.

Daffodils, hyacinth & forsythia

We still reside in the mountains, so I expect many differences from that Arkansan spring. Here, after an extremely mild winter, the last days outdid themselves with a blast of snow and freezing temperatures. Those sweet flowers froze on their stalks and branches. Birds snuggled into their nests and squirrels sought out their last stores of nuts. Temperatures continue to fluctuate from the chilly forties to the warm seventies. Snow may still fall again.

But it will truly be spring snow – a wet warm snow bringing slow moisture to the fields. A snow which disappears with the sunrise. A snow which enhances the smell of the earth I worked yesterday.

Today, the sun shines and the meteorologist promises warmth.

Today is a day when my plans for the garden zip to the forefront and I happily wander the streets with the dogs, studying yards for beautiful and unfamiliar plants.

Today, I leap to begin cleaning and organizing the new abode.

Today is a day when each bud promises great, good things to come.

Today is the first day of spring.