Spring makes the world come alive, and I’m so grateful
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough! Thy winds, thy wide grey skies! Thy mists, that roll and rise! Thy woods …that ache and sag And all but cry with colour…
…Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year…
Edna St Vincent Millay
From “God’s World”
A writer once said, “I can become so accustomed to the beauty and majesty of the world around and within me that I may lose my capacity for amazement.”
Yes, this can happen, but thankfully seldom to me, if I can help it. And this past weekend over two of the most perfect Spring days in March that I have ever experienced, the world seemed so exceptionally beautiful, fresh and renewed, and I realized why, as never before, Spring is the season of new life.
I visited a small community park Saturday afternoon. People were letting dogs run free to chase balls, the air was refreshingly cool, slightly cold actually, because of a bracingly stiff March wind. So perfect for this time of year, I thought.
I made my way to a grove of very old and tall Southern red oaks, and looked up at least 100 feet or more to the top branches of one of them, leafing out in lustrous new green, rapidly as a result of previous warmer Spring days. This is the kind of spot in the middle of the city where, if it had a hill, I would expect to see children running up its slopes to the top with their kites eagerly straining to fly skyward, longing to be earthbound no more. Idyllic.
I wandered around in the small grove of trees, photographing wildflowers at the base of them, and clusters of pale, purple wisteria, emitting into the breeze one of the sweetest flower perfumes in all of Nature, and this from an “aggressive and ambitious vine” that can take over small trees and other plants. Its beautiful flowers fade rather quickly, but what beauty they offer as recompense when in full bloom.
When I was walking back to my car I felt like pinching myself. How could I be so blessed to find amidst the hurried rush of the city a little plot of Paradise, waiting to welcome and embrace me.
The next day was Sunday, March 19. That afternoon I ventured to Hampton Park, not far from downtown, and the location in 1901 and 1902 of the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition, also known as the Charleston Exposition, or what we would call a world’s fair today. It is perhaps the most beautiful city park I’ve ever been to, and that’s saying a lot, since I grew up in New Orleans, well acquainted with the magnificent, live-oak studded Audubon Park in the Uptown section of that city.
Visiting Hampton Park is like stepping back I time. The huge live oaks and other varieties of estimable trees, including tall water and pin oaks, Shumard oaks, massive and broad live oaks that are probably hundreds of years old, camphor trees that are favored homes of fairies and other wee folk, and ancient magnolias and pecan trees. It’s almost like a small arboretum.
Many of the trees were planted for the occasion of the Exposition, are now old and venerable leafy towers that shade walkways, lagoons, fountains and garden-filled paths. All during the year flowers bloom there, including many varieties of roses. I have been visiting for many years, and in every season I delight in the changes, both subtle and dramatic, that Nature has bestowed on the park throughout the year. All the seasons are special but Spring alone is sublime.
When I arrived Sunday, about half an hour before sunset, I was spellbound. The air was slightly cold, but, as on the day before, fresh and conducive to taking deep drafts of it into your lungs. I was thankful to God for the new green on almost every tree and the flowers springing up in the gardens , casting off with finality whatever winter barrenness was left. What a joyous day. What a gift to be alive!
The writer quoted above continued his message as follows, “…As I gaze upon the natural world’s beauty—flowers in bloom and birds in flight, the orderly rhythms of sunrises and sunsets, tides, and seasons in transition—reasons to be amazed abound. [And] I am amazed at the miracle of my very life—the beat of my heart and the breath in my lungs. Perhaps most of all, I am humbly amazed by the awesome mystery of God, the Source of every good thing, my constant comfort and inexhaustible strength, the love in my heart, and the truth of my life.”
Here are some of the photos I took to remember that unforgettable weekend in March, just past, when Nature’s exquisite flowers and Spring’s finery were all I needed for a brief but memorable respite from the frantic pace of city life.
Beautiful photos! Happy spring! 🌸
@wren Thank you! A very Happy Spring to you, too!
I love seeing the new leaves in the trees. They are so green. I wish we had such a pretty park to go walk in. We just don’t have anything like that here close to me. Loved the pictures. I wish I knew what kind of flowers those last pink ones are…so pretty. I’m glad you had such a nice weekend 🙂
@happyathome Thank you! New green leaves filling up once winter-bare trees make me so happy! Love this time of year!
That group of pink and red flowers are cherry blossoms. They are so beautiful. They don’t do too well in this climate, but the horticulturists keep a few cherry trees well maintained. Another reason I love that park! 🙂
I have a hard time imagining trees that tall. 100 feet is a LOT. Here in the desert, you have to force things to grow, and trees hardly ever get that tall.
@startingover_1 We’re really fortunate here to have those tall trees in some of our parks. But there are very few of them. Most old-growth trees and forests were cut down long ago, very sadly. With foresight, state, city and town leaders would have long ago preserved stands of old growth trees for future generations to enjoy and marvel at.