The Heartbreak of Spring

Yesterday I intimated that I was looking forward to spring, but that really isn’t the case. Spring is a capricious time, literally blowing hot and cold. Emphasis on “blowing.” Although I appreciate the warming weather, and although I enjoy the signs of the earth’s reawakening, I can do without all the wind. Since this is naturally a windy area, there is a lot of wind, sometimes bringing hot days, sometimes bringing frigid days. And those volatile winds are not something I am looking forward to.

Although spring can be a heartwarming time with buds popping out on trees and inching up from the ground, it’s also a heartbreaking time. In Colorado, and especially here, too often the tender buds on fruit trees and flowering bushes are “nipped in the bud” by late spring frosts. Jeff and I had apricot trees when we lived on the western slope of Colorado, a much more clement area than here, and despite a plethora of blossoms on the trees, there were only a couple of years where those blossoms managed to survive the spring frosts and grow into apricots. Heartwarming, then heartbreaking, for sure. It makes me wonder if I will ever get fruit on my greengage plum trees, but at least — so far — the trees themselves are surviving, so there’s hope.

Gardening, too, is a capricious activity. Take my grass for example — when it was doing well, it was stunningly beautiful, like a jewel spread out at my feet. But nothing remains the same when it comes to gardening — there are constant changes, both good and bad. In the case of the grass, it became heat-stressed, and turned brown. (The photo accompanying this post is before the grass got fed up with the heat and died.) It could come back this spring. Yay! It might not. Boo.

Flowers are the same — some grow, some don’t. Some continue doing well, some shrivel. And the weeds are ever present, growing faster than the flowering plants, growing faster than I can manage to control.

Which brings me to another good/bad spring issue. In previous years, I’ve spent a lot of time outside, trying to keep my yard as beautiful as the mini park I’d hoped it would be, but I’ve gotten lazy this winter. Perhaps when I see things blooming, I’ll bloom along with them and manage to do the necessary work. But in previous years, even when I’ve had the inclination and the energy to work in the yard every day, I’ve fallen short. It was only when fall came around and most things started dying off for the season that I was able to catch up on the work. Sort of. There are still some desiccated plants to clear out, still some grassy areas to replant, still some . . .

I better stop there. If I continue to enumerate all the chores waiting for me come spring, I’ll hunker down and hope that winter never ends.

Well, not really. No matter how volatile and capricious, how much work it takes to keep up a yard, spring really is a heartwarming — and earth-warming — time. When it isn’t breaking your heart, that is.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.