March 2024

Cheers to Spring!

Winter has finally started to loosen her grip where I live in the northern US, and color is returning to the landscape. Buds have begun to appear on the trees, cherry blossoms are blooming (perhaps alarmingly early?), and the first hopeful flowers have broken through the soil to remind us that sunshine and warmth are on their way. Meantime of course in the southern hemisphere, summer is turning to fall, and days are growing shorter.

This year’s symposium theme of Gardens, Flowers, and Fruit has had me thinking of the growing cycle even during the coldest months, reminding me that the dormancy of winter is as essential to the cycle as the awakening and growth of these first warm months. 

The arrival of spring calls to mind several of my favorite foods. I think of those first stalks of asparagus, now just a few weeks away. My mind drifts to the idea of an asparagus tart, with silky gruyere and a hint of dijon, the puff pastry still warm from the oven. 

I think of deviled eggs at Easter, and then I think of chocolate eggs too, all symbols of fertility and growth, and of celebration.

I think of the spectacular colors the garden will show us soon, and I dream of an afternoon tea among the flowers: salads adorned with nasturtiums and violets, chamomile tea from that lovely English daisy, fairy cakes with delicate pansies perched on top. 

If you’re one who likes foraging, spring may also mean wild leeks and muddy hikes. There will be afternoons pulling weeds, Saturday mornings at the farmers’ market, the buzz and bustle of neighbors shaking off their winter coats to greet the sun, and each other, again. 

Spring embodies the most optimistic stage of life’s cycles. Seeds get planted, hopes get hoped. The weeds get cleared out and we make way for new growth and new fruit. 

Here’s to the new season! Welcome, sunshine! Welcome, spring! We’ve been expecting you!

by Rebecca D. Mazumdar

The Rite of Spring, Nicholas Roerich, 1945