I will get to actual knitting in my next post, but I felt the need to write about this first.
Spring began in this part of the planet a couple of weeks ago. Just four days after the 2017 vernal equinox, I turned 30. Just a couple of weeks earlier, we were experiencing the last throes of a Florida winter, which is normally very dry and occasionally very cold. Within two weeks of the beginning of spring, that last cold blast was a distant memory. Spring has come in like a lion here: the live oaks and the maple trees (and yes, we do have maple trees in Florida) are beginning to don their leafy green coats; the sand pines that cover our landscape are dropping their old pine needles, pine cones, and even what can best be described as their stamens (structures that provide pollen to the pine cones); and the birds are singing and flying around in full force. Male cardinals sing their songs in the hope of attracting a mate, and tiny chickadees remind us of their presences with their signature call that gives them their name. Mockingbirds mob the crows that try to invade their nests in search of food, while turkey vultures and red-shouldered hawks glide through the azure skies for prey and carrion. And on occasion, I will see a swallowtail kite in flight, its trademark forked tail immediately noticeable to my eye. The grass is slowly starting to grow again after laying dormant for the winter, and it will not be long before the neighborhood lawn mowers awaken and hum their own loud songs.
As for us humans, we have long shed our winter coats and traded them in for tank tops, lighter fabrics, and even the occasional athleisure wear. We watch the basketball and ice hockey seasons wind down, and baseball season finally begins anew. Some families go to church on a Sunday, while others hunker down in their air-conditioned homes and prepare to watch that day’s NASCAR race in the hopes that their favorite driver will take home the checkered flag, be it for the first time or the umpteenth. We let our furry companions out to enjoy the day’s rays of sunshine, while their owners either walk with them, or in my case find a place in the shade to sit and knit while watching my dog chase the tiny lizards around the front yard. And I watch how her ears prick up in excitement, while her tail wiggles in curiosity and her snout pokes around in the scrub in search of those quick, elusive little lizards.
And I think and realize that this will be my niece’s first full spring on this planet, and how she’ll complete her first year as a living, breathing member of the human race as this spring, the one we are living in now, will blend into summer in a couple of months’ time. I think of how she will soon be approaching this world with the curiosity and enthusiasm that almost all children her age do. She will soon be able to speak and walk and express herself, and I can’t help but wonder if she’ll be as enthused by the wonders of spring as I am this year. I have completed 30 revolutions around our Sun, and she will soon complete her first. I wonder what her 30 revolutions will have in store for her, if she is lucky enough to make it that far. Will she be happy? Will she find amazing friends who stand by her and stand up for her? Will she find something that she becomes incredibly passionate about? Will she find love? Will she be independent and successful? We all face these questions throughout our lives.
I love the weather of a Florida winter, but I also love the brightness and the renewal of a Florida spring.