Spring is finally coming to these mountains! The fields and pastures have turned a brilliant green on the hills as they lay scattered between stands of trees. Some of the trees are bare but others are beginning to put forth their pale green “baby leaves”–a sure sign that the seasons are changing.
The colder weather has not gone completely by any means. Many mornings still begin with frost covered ground. No gardening can really begin yet here in this region. Not until Mother’s Day say the old timers as they know too well that the danger of frost to the young plants is all too real until then.
My grandfather used to tell me that he had seen snow in every month of the year with the exception of July. He was referring to seeing it on the peaks of Grandfather mountain in certain years.
There is a longing in me to see the weather warmer and I wish I could sit “for a spell” and watch the leaves as they turn from their pale green apple color to their fuller size and verdant green color they will have in a few weeks. And yet now that it is happening I wish the early growth and color would stay for more than these few days. I found myself driving across Iron Mountain a few days ago and realizing that there are only 4 months or so until the fall colors begin to appear.
The changing seasons are a part of life here in Appalachia–a constant source of conversation among neighbors and a driving force behind the planting of fields, births of young farm animals, and even the amount of effort required to simply step outside in the sunshine.
Every pasture in the Spring has its own inhabitants and they all seem to have their own expression of the season in the new life seen having made their entry into the world this year. A small colt staying close to its mother is seen in one, young calves nursing their mothers in another, and small young lambs laying in the grass in the sunshine are seen in yet another. You sense hope and a promise of the future as you see these beginnings.
My thoughts then turn to the centuries of springs that have come to these mountains. And how many times have these events come and gone seen only by those fortunate enough to make this place home. Did the days go by at a slower speed for those who were here then? Did they have more time to enjoy the changing seasons and days filled with new life?
Surely I enjoy them as much as they did!