So here we are: Dwelling in that middle-season that follows Winter and precedes the eruption of Spring -- the Quivering In-Between. Have you noticed?
I was a passenger in my friend's car and together we assessed the muddy landscape. "It's just depressing," she said. "The snow is gone and the earth looks, well, kinda gloomy." "Yeah, nothing worse than dirty snow and a dull gray landscape," I replied.
We were like a couple of amateurs, really, looking with untrained eyes at God's Canvas. What we beheld, now that I think about it, is a countryside landscape of Anticipation: a quivering in-between; a first blush of Possibility and Life. Amidst the road dirt and the muddy edges and the sleeping fields and the unadorned woods, we were looking at the backdrop for a miracle.
Spring has arrived on our calendar, and it's busy maneuvering its greatness now, behind the scenes. While we humans bustle about and switch ice scrapers for umbrellas, a mighty army of bulbs and seedlings are nudging the waiting earth. While we complain about the rain and how badly our car needs a good washing, the quietest velvet of early-green arrives on silent knowing branches. While we dig out mud boots and walk the dog and pay the bills and whine about the leftover road grit and cavernous potholes, the soil is quivering and maybe the earth is laughing as it gathers momentum for the Bursting Forth of Glory.
Soon enough, we will look up one day and notice an unfurled leaf, an affirmation that the warmer days are really starting to settle in. We'll step out into the day and feel, instead of a slap of icy wind, the whisper of a Southern Zephyr on our upturned faces. A robin will sing, and we will actually notice.
At some magical moment, we will become the hushed audience before the downbeat, and the Overture will begin.
Mesmerized, we will finally look around. "Hey! Did you see my tulips this year? They're amazing!" you will say to anyone, everyone. "Wow! You should take a drive up the hill - the forsythia are the yellowist yellow I've EVER seen!" "My neighbor's daffodils are having a national convention! Man! They're all the way past the driveway into the back field! Come and see!"
And so it goes.
We, you and I, make this oh-so-subtle shift from the whine to the wow.
From the blasé to the blown-away.
From glum to giddy.
The canvas has exploded into a drama of color and light. The Quivering In-Between has crossed the fence and there is no turning back. A cacophony of peepers and birds and neighborly greetings merge into one glorious Symphony.
Pretty soon we'll be complaining about the way the grass grows too fast and the lawn needs mowing and the dandelions are taking over and who forgot to buy the citronella candles for those pesky skeeters? Oh, we are a silly unbridled bunch, blithely unaware sometimes, of our own leafy newness.
In spite of our limited vision, we have managed to find an underground, wiggly strength.
Our canvas too, which was in the icy grip of waiting, is now warm and radiant and painted with Possibility and Life.
This is Easter. Settle in, and don't miss the Overture.