Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Most of us are ready, even eager for the first signs of spring after winter's barren landscape begin to pall.

It may be that this is especially true in the South, where we have very little snow to lend its eerie beauty to the colorless, seemingly lifeless land.

Because forsythia is one of the first plants to flower, I look hopefully each day for the tiny yellow bells, heralds of spring

Actually, these heralds tend to mislead us sometimes. Once it has endured a few cool days, foolish forsythia (as I call it) breaks forth at the slightest excuse.

It most commonly starts bursting onto the scene after near-balmy days in February here in Atlanta, but I have seen its bright sprays joyously blossoming as early as December.

This habit of optimistically springing into bloom endears the plant to me. Each warm day from December to March, forsythia tries again and again to proclaim "spring has come."

No matter how many times cold temperatures blight the flowering, forsythia never seems to suffer permanently, nor to become inhibited -- no matter how harsh the icy admonition.

When I see the forsythia bounding gracefully into the air like a fountain, or cascading over a wall like a golden waterfall, I am stricken, not only with it delicate, fairy-like beauty, but with its message.

Forsythia keeps offering its opinion that spring is near, that rebuffs don't really matter, and that it is worth the risk to put forth one's tender endeavors in an uncertain world.

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