A Light Exists in Spring by Emily DickinsonA Light exists in Spring Not present on the Year At any other period- When March is scarcely here A Color stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels
In rural Illinois there is uncertainty, anxiety, sometimes even fear as we all do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19. But as we talk with our friends and neighbors the common emotion is “this feels weird.” Weird because unlike other disasters, there is no outward destruction. During a natural disaster, often there is evidence of overturned trees, flooded crops, something that indicates something bad has happened. The human silence is met with the usual sounds of spring.
The poem above by Emily Dickinson conveys my feeling right now. Despite the daily news of a virus run amok, spring is here, bringing along with it the sense of renewal, life, and warmth. Spring evokes something in us that cannot be measured by a scientific instrument. I would describe it as a feeling of hope.
In the mornings, working from home now, I walk outside as the chill of winter is beaten back by the warm sun of spring. I am full of feelings that have nothing to do with Coronavirus. It is something more… ancient. This feeling seems to be made of a million different things.
I feel the earth exhale as the scent of soil and rain fill my head. As the ground under my feet seems to breathe and push life out of the earth into the trees and plants around us.
I feel warm sunshine which I drink in as if I am one of the daffodils heralding the coming spring.
I feel the pulse of streams swollen with melting snows and spring rains.
I feel the memory that comes from the satisfaction of twisting a tomato off the vine. I can even hear the sound it makes.
I feel the rustling in newly emerged tree leaves as they move in the wind for the first time, filling the air with their static sound that is ever-present until the leaves sway their last in the fall.
I feel the joy of my children running through mud, echoing the blissful chirp of a nearby cardinal.
I feel the warm fog in the morning and marvel at the droplets of water suspended around me.
I feel the new green grass under my feet and the bright blue sky above.
I feel the fleeting moment of spring and embrace each breath of fresh air I can drink in knowing time will yield to summer and the clock of the Earth continues to tick onward.
With American’s transition to a different lifestyle, some things will not change. As spring envelops us, how would you describe that “feeling” within you? Please send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can post these on our Good Growing blog.
In the next few weeks, your Good Growing authors will be putting out a series of articles on starting a home vegetable garden. We will be posting a lot of resources on our blog. You can check out these additional resources and subscribe by going to https://go.illinois.edu/GoodGrowing
As spring unfolds, so too will our story of this pandemic. We will see it through together. Keep your eyes to the sky because as the spring saying goes “April showers, bring May flowers” and a rainbow or two.
Good Growing Tip of the Week: Gardening contributes to our physical and emotional wellbeing. Going outside or sitting at a window with a view to nature is enough to lower stress levels in humans and has lots of additional benefits. Make sure you get your prescribed dose of nature every day!