As the song says so well, (that is, “It Might as Well be Spring” from the Richard Rogers/Oscar Hammerstein musical State Fair), there is no reason to have Spring Fever, since there aren’t any signs of Spring. “I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud, Or a robin on the wing…”
But I did see a robin yesterday! In our winter-bare hawthorn tree, its red breast stood out against the ice-blue sky.
I don’t know why the robins come so early to Southeast Idaho. They aren’t a sign of spring here.
They gather in leafless tree branches along the frozen Portneuf River, before the pussy willows even bud. They fluff themselves against subzero cold, and somehow survive.
The robins I remember from my childhood in Central Oregon showed up after the thaw, when they pulled fat earthworms from the soggy ground.
At least, that’s what my memory tells me now.
Did I miss the winter robins years ago? Were they there all along, unnoticed until I thought to look for them, because I had been taught that robins were the “first sign of Spring?”
I’m usually one for living in the moment, and enjoying the season I am in right now. Winter has been wonderful, especially this winter, with it’s emphasis on family and service.
But there are days like today, with the peaks of the Grand Tetons shimmering on the eastern horizon as we drive north to Idaho Falls, that I start dreaming of hiking among the wildflowers. Or even just puttering around in our little back yard, enjoying the plants my dad and stepmom planted years ago, that will spring to life again as they do each year, despite how long the frost and snow hang on.
So, along with rejoicing in the current season, I look forward with hope to the next season, and the season after that, trusting the flowers will bloom, the trees will green, and the earth will yield its worms when robins seek them.
And with that hope in my winter heart, it might as well be Spring.