What Spring Brings


There are no leaves on the trees, but the grass already needs to be cut. Daffodils that survived a surprise freeze of early Spring are popping up and joined by red and pink tulips and green hostas.

A barefoot woman stands on the front porch shaking a plastic bag of trail mix. She takes a few steps forward and begins to yell towards a tree in a high pitched voice, usually reserved for things that are small and furry.

“Sneaky, come down here, Sneaky.”

On the street, a man slowly rides by on a bike with a wicker basket. He cranes his neck but only sees tiny green buds beginning to develop on the branches.  There is nothing to match the description of what he imagines to be a Sneaky.

You just never know, he thinks, and holds down the contents of the basket on the front of his bike. It is overflowing with a shrubbery that he acquired from the yard of his out of town neighbors.

“Sneaky, its snack time.”

The woman shakes the bag again and this time a man watches from inside of the house. With one finger, he lifts the blind up a little higher and peers out with a pair of blue eyes.   As much as he wants to look away, he cannot bring himself to do it.  He is running through his options on which family member would sign the involuntary commitment paperwork.

“Trust us, it’s for your own good.”

He envisions the woman being lifted up and carried out by men in matching white scrubs.  He sees her little legs kicking as she squirms to escape and feels a sense of guilt in the pit of his stomach for letting his imagination take his wife away in a straight jacket.

Laughter from the sidewalk brings the man’s focus back.

The woman’s hand is extended with a pile of almonds on her palm from which a little brown squirrel is selecting the best nut.

“Only the best for you, Sneaky.”

She looks back, intuiting that she had an audience of one, and raises one eyebrow.

“Told you so,” she says with a shrug and a smile.

She is most pleased; Sneaky returned as did her creditability, all in few, short minutes.



White feet

Used to socks and boots

Brought out into the light

By the warm day and a new pair of leather sandals;

Now wrapped in Band-aides and covered in blisters

They are keenly aware of the joy and pain

in changing seasons.

Goodbye ants

Spring, the sweet thought of sunny days and green grass, the smell of fresh earth and the sound of chirping birds warms my heart. It brings a playful smile to my face and fills my heart with joy, only to be cut short by the insect invaders of our apartment.

Just this morning, I was about to step into the shower, blindly feeling my way without my glasses to assist, when I noticed a moving black line. I leaned closer and closer until the black line came into focus as an army of tiny ants marching bravely from out of a crack in the grout around the edge of the bathtub.

I admit, I over-reacted to the harmless little soldiers. I screamed in horror, despite being a thousand times bigger than all of the bugs put together and frantically swept the whole lot away and into the running water. The joy I felt with the gentle winds of spring was quickly replaced by guilt at the destruction that I caused. I single-handedly wiped out a colony of ants, possibly a very rare species that only lives in the walls of apartment bathrooms. Possibly a species that holds the key to cancer or some new pain killer to replace pills or potions, thoughtlessly exterminated by yours truly, for lack of a better plan. It was my natural reaction from fear to crush and destroy, to remove it from my mind, and pretend it never happened.

It did happen and I’m sorry, little ant nation. Next time, a multitude of ants swarm the tub, I hope to be rational and kind; perhaps to scoop them up and release them out the backdoor into Nature. Maybe I’ll do one better and capture them for an ant farm so they will be well fed and protected from predators and fear-driven women. In any case, I’ve been mourning your loss all day, ant nation, and now it’s time to move on, like the seasons of the year. I am back to welcoming Spring, a little sadder and wiser, but still grateful for the change.