Spring has sprung in Greenville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

I had the opportunity the other day to make a trip to Selma to a meeting of some sorts.

The meeting was productive, but what made the day a rousing success was driving through the backwoods, passing through settlements like Braggs, Pine Hill, and Sardis, and seeing the oncoming rush of spring in the woods.

I'm not sure what it is, but spring seems to come more suddenly than any other season.

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One day it's cold and blustery, then the next all the world is a verdant green.

As I made my way through the countryside, hillsides were beginning to blush with the soft reds of emerging gum leaves.

The smoke-like lavender of the redbuds that cling to the higher ground compliments well the light, light green of tender shoots emerging from a winter's slumber.

Pine trees add to their forest green with the golden waft of pollen, and the dogwoods were just beginning to show the first promise of their cross-shaped blooms.

That means that the first ringing gobbles of a strutting tom turkey aren't that far away.

And my personal favorite, the Bradford pear, has replaced it's bare branches with a cloud of buds awaiting to burst into a snowstorm of

spring's petals.

What really added to the journey was the flash of ornamental plants that populate the tended yards.

Azaleas are just beginning to think about blooming (I sure hope some wait until Easter), and every yard that I passed showed some signs of dirt being freshly dug in anticipation of a rainbow of bedding plants being put on display for the joy of all.

Occasionally, there would be a clump of daffodils or narcissus bursting forth in splendor in an otherwise deserted place.

This sight, which is inevitably an old homesite, always makes me wonder what was there in years past.

Was this a tribute to architecture, soaring toward the heavens with fingers of wood and brick, ringed with gardens full of every variety of plant, or was it just a simple dwelling, whose small beds of plants were the one bright spot in a swept clean yard?

Did someone stand on the porch as the sun headed westward, watching the final rays dance on the filigreed blooms?

Did they tend their yard with the same care that a mother cradles a young child?

These now-wild flowers remind us that even though our time here on earth

is transitory, some things will remain.

Like flowers and memories and soft spring breezes.