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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Copyright 2012 © by Ralph Couey

Spring, like all the seasons, comes upon us gradually.  Wrapped in the cloak of our busy lives, we scarcely notice the change.  But on that one day that we stop and take time to actually look around, we discover the miracle.  On that day we exit our home to find that, instead of being assaulted by the cold, we are welcomed by the gentle warmth of the sun.  The brown bare limbs of the trees have exploded with life and leaves.  Flowers have begun to bloom adding their bright and cheery colors to earth’s palette.  The breeze now blows gently across the skin that was for too long hidden under protective layers. 

In the spring, earth touches us in a personal way with an intimacy found at no other time of the year.  We are eager to leave the confining walls of winter behind to embrace, and be embraced by the rebirth that is spring.

What I welcome the most is the chorus of birdsong.  Winter is a silent time, disturbed only by the raucous cry of the crow.  Now, however, the orchestra has returned and all those small voices join together in a symphony of joyous sound that fills the soul.

It’s Saturday and people are out and about.  Strolling down the sidewalk, a couple of teenage girls eat ice cream.  Bicycles and skate boards glide past.  The comforting smell of fresh-cut grass is in the air and everywhere, men dressed in their Saturday worst are mowing, edging, trimming, and planting, turning a simple lawn into a living work of art.  Others are busy with paint and tools, repairing the damage that the ravages of winter visited upon their homes.  Windows are open, freshly washed curtains swaying gently in the breeze.  The fresh, new air of spring is spreading through those rooms, taking away the last stagnant air of winter. 

In front of the grocery store, firemen shopping for their kitchen josh with a group of kids, uniformed Little Leaguers asking for donations.  An older man strolls by, walking his little mop-haired terrier.  He stops often, waiting patiently while the little pup eagerly explores every bush, tree, fireplug, and clump of grass.  At one house, a cat watches the pair haughtily from the safety of a window sill bathed in sunlight.  At the playgrounds and in back yards, children let loose their seemingly limitless store of energies.  They are celebrating as well for they know that the return of warm weather means that the end of the school year is approaching and the glory of summer vacation awaits just over the horizon.  Teachers will struggle in vain to hold their attention in class as their eyes continually stray to the windows.

Everywhere there is life.  Squirrels scamper back and forth.  Here and there, a rabbit edges warily towards a particularly tasty patch of green.  Above it all, the sun arcs slowly through a sky of soft blue dotted with a few puffy clouds.  Out in the countryside, lilacs and violets are blooming, along with the vivid purple of Pawlonia.  Yes, it’s considered an invasive species, but clothed in such vivid beauty, its darker side is easily forgotten.  In the forests, streams have been freed from their icy prisons and flow freely once again, whispering their secrets to the silent trees.  The fields are covered in grass, so vivid in verdant green after the long winter dormancy.  Through the fields, horses move gracefully, peacefully, eating their fill of the new growth.  Even the mountains look different as the spring finery dresses the slopes. 

Spring is a special time of year.  For us, it is a time when we feel our spirits coming alive again.  We reach out to each other, reconnecting and reviving friendships.  The days are longer and the gentle temperatures mean that we are no longer chased indoors when the sun nears the horizon.  Instead, we linger in the dusk, perhaps sharing some long-overdue conversation with our neighbors.  Spring is also the best time to be with the one you love.  Like the flowers, love blooms anew in springtime.  As life returns to the world around us, that feeling of something new and beautiful is recognized and shared. 

This is Spring.  A time to go for a stroll, drink in the beauty of the world around, and fall in love with life once more.
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