Thursday, April 23, 2009

Greening Day

Unlike Earth Day, which happens according to a date on a calendar, there's a very special day that happens once each year in early spring.  It's a little unpredictable, and sometimes you don't notice that it's happening until it's already gone.  It happened on Tuesday here.  I noticed.  And I mentioned it to my mother.

And she said "It's what day?"

Greening Day.

Haven't heard of it either?  That's OK.  My son's dad invented it.  (Hey, if Hallmark can make up holidays whenever they feel like it, why can't he name a day that is special without having cards to celebrate it?  his own private pagan holiday....)

Greening Day happens when winter is getting old.  The daffodils are blooming, the crocuses are bobbing in the breeze, the snow is gone, and the grass is still dead and brown.  There are no buds on trees yet, mud still fills low areas, last fall's leaves are still caught around the edges of buildings and fences, and you're getting really anxious for spring to finally arrive.

And then it rains.  And it rains, and it rains.

And if you're lucky, you might notice that the air is a little brighter, the drear is a little less dreary, and there's a greenish cast on everything that's wet.  If you're not that lucky, then you saw rain, rain, and more rain.

And then, when the rain stops, suddenly it shows: the buds are on trees, the grass is tall and green and needs mowing, there are shoots standing up in the flower bed where yesterday there was nothing.

Greening Day.

It took me a few years of watching to understand the signs our foremothers probably took for granted.  Now it's time to put in peas.  Now it's time to clean up the yard.  Now it's time to start thinking about what color of flowers to put in the pots on the front porch.  Your steps feel a little lighter, the sun feels a little warmer, and you can finally let out that breath you've been holding for spring.

It happens at different times in different areas.  It's a very local holiday, and should be celebrated everywhere.  It happened here on Tuesday, 2 days ago.  And I celebrated by laughing in the rain.

Greening Day.

Have you had yours yet?

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