by Jean Gordon

Spring is often the season people look most forward to after the long winter blues, especially after the 2020-21 winter that brought with it so many uncertainties. Who isn’t looking forward to March 20 when spring officially arrives and with it comes new promises of hope.

Never in my lifetime or yours have we been challenged as we have during these days of COVID-19. With spring also comes the word there will be more vaccines available for those seeking one. With spring we can begin to realize a bit of normalcy.  I’m so ready. Are you?

The seasons of 2020 have come and gone seemingly with the blink of an eye as we’ve looked around every corner seeking that glimmer of hope for a new day and a new season. For those who have been in stay-at-home places for months, this season will bring better weather days where sitting outdoors can become a refreshing luxury. Porch sitting in a rocking chair with a lap blanket is a dream for many, and this season will offer that and more. Good long doses of Vitamin D can be just what the doctor ordered. 

It is always better outside. Taking a walk along the many trails in Lake Lure, Chimney Rock and across Rutherford County can only be a good thing as weather permits and as we feel safe all while following social distancing and wearing masks.

I noticed spring popping up in my yard in early February with the arrival of crocus flowers as they poked their tiny heads through the soil. It was definitely an ‘ah’ moment as I glanced down and counted the tiny purple and yellow flowers. Even after a Saturday evening snowfall, the crocus  were still there the next morning. Delightfully their petals were open and they were the first things that caught my attention after the snowfall. Like many of you, they are survivors.

What better reminder of a new beginning that the flowers of spring, unless it’s the birds chirping a little longer and louder as they swoop to bird feeders for refreshing food. Maybe it’s my imagination, but they seemed to be flying a little lighter and hanging out a little longer.

With spring  comes promises of new beginnings for Chimney Rock Village’s new streetscape plan. Partnering with the Tourism Development Authority, the street will take on a new warm welcome for visitors as they share time in our backyard.

The Town of Spindale’s getting a new streetscape, too, and the Kiwanis Park in Rutherfordton is offering new adventures for children and adults. There is an air of newness all around us. These projects will bring more tourists to our area and that will boost the spirits of business owners across this region. 

With the promise of spring comes the planting of vegetable gardens, flower gardens and making sure grape vines are ready for the next season’s production. Freshly plowed ground for planting season is an amazing feeling to a barefoot, and the smell of the freshly turned ground is a memory I’ve never forgotten.

Spring can also means more picnics when we can gather with our family and friends.  Spread a blanket on the ground or a cloth on the table and soak in the fellowship of family and friends.

Recently on a warm winter day a friend and I had a spontaneous picnic during her lunch break. The food was simple salads with fresh water to drink but the Vitamin D was what we needed. 

With the promise of spring will come fresh caught trout from the Rocky Broad River cooked on an open fire at a local campground. More than the taste of the fresh trout and the smell of an open fire will be the joy of being outdoors again and sharing stories of how we survived the longest winter ever.

The season will bring a new season for fun. Have you missed fun? I have.

Fun can be a simple walk, reconnecting with someone and yes, even sharing a favorite fishing hole with a grandchild. We’ve all been stuck indoors far too long, and now it’s time to shed the coat and gloves and get a little spunk back into our lives as we welcome this time of year. We will continue to follow the guidelines given to us in order to stay as healthy as possible.

 With spring we seek a new hope of physical, mental and spiritual health during this season of renewal of relationships and wellness. So get outdoors as much as possible. Go visit a botanical garden and a nature center where the joys of plants and animals can change the course of your day. Take a long leisurely walk along the Flowering Bridge and thank those volunteers making all that possible.

And with this favorite season we will look for a renewed spirit in one another and a respect for each other. Joy comes in the springtime of our souls with the very promise of new beginnings.

Jean Gordon is a freelance writer after spending nearly 50 years as a newspaper reporter in Rutherford County.