The Green Gifts of Spring

When the trees set their tender new leaves, I am reminded that newness and beauty will always return to the world.

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Posted in Apr 28, 2017

Tree in bud, promise of spring

I don’t fully feel spring has arrived until the leaves start to show up on the trees. Here in Massachusetts, we wait a little longer than much of the country for that gentle eruption of color—and while the wait is often chilly and wet, it is more than worth it for the beautiful rewards that are to come.

Early in the spring, weeks or even months before the greenness reveals itself, I prune my small stand of fruit trees with dreams of a luscious summer crop. This task is an act of faith, in a sense, because my breath is visible in the air, the trees’ branches are brown and bare, and the summer fruit season is so far off it feels almost abstract.

Will the trees be healthy this year, I wonder? Will the weather cooperate? Each evening, I walk around my house, closing the blinds for the night and lingering for a moment at the living room window that looks out on the waiting orchard. I am both wistful and hopeful, wondering when the switch will flip, when the trees will know it’s time to bestow their green gifts.

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And then, one day, a late April temperature spike is followed by a sight for color-starved eyes—there, outside the window at sunset, are my trees, speckled with the beginnings of tender green leaves. I inhale sharply, joyfully, amid a surge of positive feelings of gratitude, excitement and even relief.

The novelist Marty Rubin is quoted as saying, “The deep roots never doubt spring will come.” Gazing at the fresh growth on my trees, fragile and new, but securely attached to their sturdy twigs, branches and limbs, I am inspired to confront my own doubts, find positive ways to release them and celebrate that, finally, spring is here.

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