Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

This Spring's Performance Is over the Top

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

This Spring's Performance Is over the Top

Article excerpt

Spring, it strikes me all over again, is not guaranteed to be in the best of taste. What I mean is the period that might be called "high spring" - spring just before it overflows into summer. Spring at the point of its most unstinting haste and gush. Its colors clash. Its chaos of greenness is in overload. It has no skill whatsoever in the art of understatement. This year - at least where I live, in the Northern Hemisphere - until now the season has progressed with restraint, lingering with some dignity through careful, almost contemplative stages. But now, tossing all care to the winds (and the rains), it "comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers." I am not quite as disenchanted with spring as was Edna St. Vincent Millay. In fact, I still find its "rush with richness" a stirring, if startling, business, and I happily reengage with Gerard Manley Hopkins on the subject. "What," he asks, "is all this juice and all this joy?" This returning season remains an insistent reminder of an underlying and profoundly constructive inevitability. All the same, if we forget what it is like from year to year, and expect spring to be kempt and polite, we are liable to find ourselves rudely taken by storm. I have been, this year. On Sunday, I looked around and thought "It's here!" As I took the dogs out, I felt ambushed by a banditry of greenness - all manner of greenness, from moss to lime, from butter-yellow to emerald, from copper verdigris to tarnished gold. And not only greens, but also russet and peach, rust and ochre, and even the glorious soft red of new copper-beech hedge leaves fresh against the dark purple-black of last year's growth. How could I have overlooked this arrival? I don't know if it was merely a pressing absorption in theatrical matters this last week that meant I was not watching things outside. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.