Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

With all the preparations for making Pesach I almost lost track of the fact that spring has arrived officially. My desk is downstairs by the sliding doors leading to the backyard. We have a fairly large piece of property, particularly in the back of the house, and our yard backs up to real, honest to goodness woodlands. Because of this we get a surprisingly large number of animal visitors in our yard. I finally took a few moments this morning to survey the spring landscape.

Bulbs have pushed up their tops all over the yard. Bushes are re-greening after a winter of resting. The fallen winter leaves look out of place on the newly refreshed grass. And our animal visitors are starting to come back once again.

Robins and sparrows in abundance. For years we have always had a nesting pair of Cardinals in the woods that use our yard as their take home food store. They are back again this year. Soon enough the pair of blue jays should be returning. It always amazes me to watch these two pairs of birds square off over who gets territorial rights to our property. In the end they seem to make "separate shopping hours" and share the yard. This morning I saw an anomaly--an owl flying through the still bare trees during the daytime.

The squirrels are out and scavenging. I sure hope that the chipmunks that moved in last summer will come back. They are amazing to watch in action. And then there are the raccoons and the opossums and the rabbits, not yet ready to make an appearance.

Through the glass doors I can already hear the first strains of the bird symphony that will play all summer long and into the fall. And just now there is a robin standing on the patio near the doors and staring at me. What, I wonder, does he think about human beings? Are we a part of his spring landscape, just as we think of him as a part of ours?

Near the bird feeder a small group is busy pecking at the leftover crumbs. I've already prepared for them the latest offering--an amalgam of echt chometz that needs to leave the house. Finely crushed matza and some oat bran and a handful of this and that, with a little peanut butter for flavoring. It's not quite yet time to put up the honey water feeder for the hummingbirds but soon, soon. I love to watch those birds hover, flying backwards around the yard.

Spring. A time of renewal, a time to lighten the spirit after the dreariness of winter. A time when the world is painted anew in vibrant colors. Take a moment. Stop and look at the new landscape unfurling in front of us. Take a moment to say thank you that we, too, have lived to see a renewal of our own flagging spirits. In spring all seems possible. Go for it!

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