When we first arrived in Florida, I thought it was a seasonless part of the world, always green, somewhat boring even. Like so many things in life, my perception has changed with experience.
By now, everyone knows that we live right on the beautiful St Johns River. In late November, it feels like our hickory trees just give up their glory overnight. stuffing the gutters so full of leaves that the slightest rainfall creates Niagara Falls outside our lanai, reducing our tree to a black scribble against the bedroom window. The river becomes drab with nakedness and we can see deep into the forest opposite us. My orchids hanging in the tree next to me go to sleep, most bird voices disappear, and the only sounds I hear are from my windchimes around the garden, and - oh yes! - the frantic boat engines of eager fishermen flying by early in the morning :-)
But come middle February, the first tender buds start forming and I smile, enjoying what is coming before it even gets here! The river's forested banks become greener daily and today, 3rd March, I look out at the splendor that is the relentless new life of spring, and on the balustrade outside, a tiny Carolina wren starts warbling loudly.
So it's no wonder I end up in the Song of Solomon: "My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land."
And just in case I missed the message, in my kitchen Morris Chapman starts singing: Come Away, don't you hear the Spirit say, Come spend some time with me...Come away...