Jane Howell dragged her patent leather shoes, toe first (alternating feet) just so she could hear the scritchy sound of her soles against the sidewalk. Jane’s mother scolded her weekly about taking better care of her footwear (and the family’s budget) but the temptation was too hard to resist.
Jane dreaded going straight home on a day like today–there was more sunshine in the sky this warm afternoon that she could ever remember. The towering umbrellas of cherry trees along the way left lacy shadows on the ground and she felt as if she were stepping on gossamer carpets floating above the ground. Never mind there was nothing but gray and white patterns in the solid concrete at her feet.
People she met greeted her along the way and kept saying, “It feels like spring is in the air.” She wondered if they meant that flutter of pink she saw in the flowering cherry trees overhead. But the daffodils along the way, like tall green soldiers in their salmon and yellow helmets, weren’t in the air. They were right there next to her, lining the green lawns.
Sally Jones’ flowerbeds were full of them, exploding like ground-borne fireworks. Mr. Sheffield had planted some, too, bright announcements lining his fenceway. Jane remembered last Fall three weeks into September when the days were rainy and cool. There was Mr. Sheffield down on his knees, faded hat on his head, a spade sparkling against the late afternoon sun, planting promises.
Then here came the arc of Spring all these months later, slowing Jane down with its riot of color and silent beauty, a palette of nature’s paintbox poured out just for her.
Yes, Jane definitely did not want to go home just yet. Spring was in the air. She wanted to hear one more slide of soles against the sidewalk while she held this glory of promise in her pockets for another day.
When I heard photographer Joy Prouty share this past week at Refine Retreat in Ohio she told us look for a line that stood out in the spoken word poem that accompanied her video piece.
This was the line for me. “The heart is the bravest muscle.”
When I returned from the retreat I was organizing some work and art journal materials and found a little story I’d written. One year ago almost to the day I had dashed out some lines in a journal when a friend had challenged our writer’s group to try our hand at fiction. Make believe stories are/were an entirely unknown endeavor for me, but lo and behold the words came. “Here Came Spring” is that little story.
The words seemed perfectly timed, a simple snapshot of glory and flowers and daffodils….Another confirmation of God’s word to me this past weekend.
He is always speaking, we just need to listen.