By Flo Mayberry

Spring, as they say has sprung in the mountains. The rains come almost daily and we search in anticipation for the first buds to appear on the tallest trees. The knocking of the woodpecker on my senses tells me it’s safe to open the cocoon that I’ve been surviving in all winter. The city tends to overshadow the sprouted sprigs as they quietly burst through a swathe of earth amidst concrete while in the mountains the signs are less subtle. Folks emerge from dwellings, stand centered in their driveways, and vigorously inhale and exhale the new air, and neighbors comment on the minutest of changes.

“Howdy neighbor, it’s a mighty fine day. The almanac said it would be a long winter—and, yep, it was right about that. You can’t go wrong with the almanac for my money. Dang if I didn’t see yellow daffodils down on old man Pryor’s property today. That means spring is right around the corner, and Lord knows it’s not a minute too soon.”

At first, the buds came and went with little notice on my part, as my urban sensibilities adjusted to a new rural environment. Now, years later, seeing dogwood trees heavy with white blossoms flood me with anticipation and the early arrival of the seemingly paper-thin pink and red azalea blossoms still compel me to overprotect them although past observances assure me they are more than capable of holding their own against the intermittent and sometimes harsh west winds that come and go at will in the elevated atmosphere. The apple orchards—they are the prize—will be ripe for the picking in late August; a reminder that yes, we are in “Apple Country”. My vegetable seeds are sprouting what I hope will be a successful attempt at an organic garden. I feel more connected to the entire circadian process. Life in the mountains has brought me closer to the earth.

Florence Mayberry lives in Bat Cave, NC