I spent this past Sunday doing garden clean-up. The first day outside after a long winter is always the very best – even the inevitable blister between thumb and forefinger from raking too vigorously.
For one thing, a few hours of work yields such noticeable improvement. Outdoor furniture is dusted off and set up; the last fall leaves are bagged, revealing little green shoots and buds; sticks are bundled in neat little piles for pick-up; all of the ugliness of late winter is gone in one lovely, sunny afternoon.
For another thing, spring is all about the promise of potential fulfilled -- beauty and growth and abundance. The air smells fresh and the earth, loamy; birdsong fills the cool air -- robins chirp angrily at my presence as they use their instinctual artistry to turn sticks and mud and string and bits of paper into a perfect little round nest, hidden in a nearby tree.
The grass is still the color of straw, but just the absence of snow makes its crunch and rustle welcome beneath my feet.