Ah, spring! That climatic breakthrough humanity longs for during those dark, dreary, arctic months of existence. We beckon it to us, pleading for its early arrival. Instinctually, we know that the season spawns new life. Trees bud. Grass grows. Flowers bloom. And, at the first hint of warmer weather and brighter days, humankind bursts forth from its makeshift hibernation.
Spring is ripe with visual cues. The masses, forced inside by the harsh winter, keep watch through their windows, eagerly anticipating that singular moment when a small green bud reaches out from beneath the layers of frost still lightly blanketing the landscape. Soon after, as the trees are filled out and painted anew, people flock outside, enlivened by the sunshine in a strange iteration of photosynthesis.
Ultimately, it’s the color green that is synonymous with springtime. Winter is monochromatic – grey skies and black nights and dazzling white ice. Fall, conversely, is rustic. Oranges, reds and yellows grace treetops while pumpkins appear on doorsteps (and in every item on grocery store shelves). Summer is vivid. The sun in its intensity brings vibrancy to the environment. Heat waves gyrate in fields of vision, turning cars, buildings, bushes, and stoplights into urban hula dancers. The atmosphere buzzes as each parcel of land radiates the sun’s energy back up into the air.
But then there’s spring in all its emerald glory. The seasonal transformation is brazen as a thousand shades of green take over the landscape. Unfortunately, the English language provides so few words for the color. For the most part, observers group the variations into a few broad categories: lime green, forest green, neon, light. In this way, words limit us, for we can easily miss the fact that as soon as spring seizes the land, almost no two plants are the same shade. It’s as if God decided, in a simple exercise of His immense creative power, to weave a grand tapestry using merely one hue from His vast, expansive palette.
The vernal equinox is a stage of rebirth. Time, in its cyclical nature, does not merely change the setting each year. A primordial revival breaks out – dead things come back to life while germination produces new life. The sun, with its rekindled might, thaws the land. The Earth awakens from her grandiose slumber. The seasonal cryogenic chamber is switched off and living things are resuscitated and refreshed.
Human beings, whether they are conscious of it or not, are not immune to this awakening. The cold breeds isolation. Streets are abandoned. Daily existence moves as if on a pendulum, swinging methodically from one side to the other. Individuals flurry to and fro, hurrying along without acknowledging their bustling brethren. While outside, the species retreats inward, hiding underneath down coats and behind wool scarves. Once inside, though, the pace slows to agonizing levels. People resist leaving, even moving. Workers sit stoically. Families huddle together under blankets. Friendships enter an unspoken hiatus, frozen in time until the winter winds subside.
Once the world thaws, though, the rhythm levels out. Pedestrians walk slower, more aware of their surroundings. Conversations abound. Workers readily escape their offices. Cafes and restaurants expand and contract with the flow of patrons. The joyful din emanating from patios infects nearby squares. Throngs of people journey through downtowns, the sounds of their voices floating up to unobstructed windows. In this way, it is not only nature that is reborn, but society.