Anne Notations

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Spring hopes



Early April, and I'm a fool. You'd think a native New Englander would know better, but I do it every time. I start believing that spring is here.

Never mind that so many Aprils, and even some Mays, have slapped us with snowstorms, with sleet, with stinging cold winds. I live off Hope (Street) in a state whose official motto is "Hope." As the sun begins to shine longer each day, many of us can't help ourselves. There's some green grass! (Pay no attention to the salt-killed brown lawns bordering our streets). It's going up to 50 degrees -- break out the shorts and flip-flops!

In our neighborhood this week, hope is springing up, bearing specific names:

Crocus.
Periwinkle.
Snowdrops.

Through brown leaves they poke, peeking out from behind rocks, clustering near doorsteps. These hardy flowers may be clich├ęs, but they're enough to get me through another month of metereological roulette.

Emily Dickinson wrote that hope was the thing with feathers. The songs of robins and cardinals assure me she was right. But I know hope is also a crocus, yellow or purple or white, now playing in a yard or garden near you. To such small promises the winter-weary grab on tight, like those early Rhode Islanders who emblazoned the 1664 colonial shield with an anchor and a single word, a pairing likely inspired by Hebrews 6:18-19: "Hope we have as an anchor of the soul."

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