It is early spring-time. The winter has passed with reluctant step, and even now the traces of its footsteps are discernible on every side. At noon of these bright days the sun looks down smilingly upon the soil it seeks to bless with its cheerful, cheering rays. The tiny grass-blades peep out, and stretch forth their graceful forms, as if to thank the unknown source from which their enjoyments spring. “Unknown,” I said. Is it “fancy” that makes my soul withdraw that word, and suggest that it may be that even that blade of grass recognizes the hand that ministers to all its wants? I think not. I think that what we term “fancy” and “imagination” are the most real and enduring portions of existence. They are of that immortal part that will live after crumbling column and the adamantine foundations of earth have passed away, and lost their present identity in countless forms of a higher existence. Are not all the forces of nature unseen, yet are they not real? Most assuredly they are. But I am talking of spring. I hinted at winter’s tardy withdrawal. Look you how that little pile of snow hides itself in yonder shady nook,—right there where the sun’s rays never come; right there, as if ashamed, like a man out of place,—pity that it lingers. Here and there, at the side of the brook, a little ice is waiting to be dissolved, that it may bound away, bright and sparkling, over the glistening pebbles.
The farmer opens his barn doors that the warm, fresh breeze may ramble amid its rafters. The cattle snuff the refreshing winds, that bear tidings of green fields. The housewife opens door and windows, and begins to live more without than within.
Let us to the woods. How the old leaves rustle beneath our tread! Winter bides his cold, wet hand underneath these leaves and occasionally we feel his chilling touch as we pass along. But from above the pleasant sunshine comes trickling down between the branches, and the warm south wind blows cheeringly among the trees. Didst thou not hear yon swallow sing, Chirp, chirp?—In every note he seemed to say, “’T is spring, ’t is spring.”
Yes, ’t is spring; bright, glorious season, when nature awakes to new life and forest-concerts begin.
Up with the window, throw open the closed shutter, let the fresh air in, and let the housed captive breathe the invigorating elixir of life; better by far than all your pills and cordials, and more strengthening than all the poor-man’s plasters that have been or ever will be spread.
The bale and hearty youth, whose clear and boisterous laugh did the old man good, as he heard it ring forth on the clear air of a winter’s night, has become satiated with the pleasures of sleigh-rides and merry frolics, and welcomes the spring-time of year as a man greeteth the return of an old friend from a long journey. How his bright eye flashes with the joyous soul within him, as he treads the earth, and beholds the trees put forth their buds, and hears the warblings of the birds once again, where a few weeks since winter brooded in silence!