In Middle Tennessee we don’t have much of a winter, even under perfectly normal circumstances. Rainy gray day follows rainy gray day, punctuated once in a while by the clarity of snow. This winter hardly counted as winter so mild were the days, so rare was the snow. Still, the trees were bare, and the grass was brown, and the days were gray. Springtime, even arriving unnaturally early, felt like a gift. I love the way the world emerges from each springtime rain wearing a deeper shade of green. I love the way my yard fills up with tiny yellow and blue and pink wildflowers. I will curse the brutal sun in July, but in April the sun on my skin feels like the gentle hand of a generous God.
Most of all in springtime I love the courtship rituals of the backyard birds. I love the way the chickadees bring tiny bits of moss to the nest site they’ve chosen; the way the male blue jay feeds the female, proving his reliability as a provider; the way the female bluebird carefully inspects every nest site her suitor escorts her to, hoping one will meet her standards; the way the red tail hawks circle the sky on opposite sides of the same arc; the way the bachelor mockingbird sings all night long, and the way he will keep on singing until someone accepts his song.