The first taste of Spring…after a very long winter…

Dandelion, by Ted Kooser

The first of a year’s abundance of dandelions
is this single kernel of bright yellow
dropped on our path by the sun, sensing
that we might need some marker to help us
find our way through life, to find a path
over the snow-flattened grass that was
blade by blade unbending into green,
on a morning early in April, this happening
just at the moment I thought we were lost
and I’d stopped to look around, hoping
to see something I recognized. And there
it was, a commonplace dandelion, right
at my feet, the first to bloom, especially
yellow, as if pleased to have been the one,
chosen from all the others, to show us the way.

Every last bit of snow and ice has left every last bit of the farm, and after two weeks of unceasing rain, the color green is once again returning to our pastures. This morning, while hauling out the flock’s breakfast of hay, I caught glimpses of baby dandelions poking their merry yellow heads up through the “snow-flattened grass in Kooser’s lovely poem. They are a magnificent sight for a winter weary soul.

I’m not exactly sure why this past winter proved to be my hardest yet here at the farm. Perhaps it was because there was so much ice to maneuver around, just layers and layers of impenetrable ice which made moving the sheep (and myself) a daily white knuckle task. Or, maybe it was the way Covid struck at Christmas time, laying waste to plans of enjoying the holidays with all three children under our roof once more. Or the unlucky spill our dog Bowie took while watching over her flock, which has left her with a slow to heal torn ACL. Or an attack of shingles which coincided with ringworm, the latter of which was courtesy of the above mentioned Bowie. At some point in December, a black mood took hold and established itself with some tenacity.

But, the dandelions of this morning, coupled with blue skies and a lovely breeze, as well as the sweet freedom to be outside at the picnic table unencumbered by winter garb, have broken through that bleak mood.

Today, I resisted the urge to pick up the flats of pansies that tempted me at the feed store. It’s much too soon to plant anything yet, but the very sight of those happy flowers dancing in the morning sunshine was enough to banish the last dark thoughts. Spring is here…and not a moment too soon.

4 thoughts on “The first taste of Spring…after a very long winter…

  1. Your post today resonates with my heart which, like yours, has been through a winter that has dragged on for it seems more than 2 years! The family separation for so very long has been heavy on all of our souls and your added shingles (ouch) and doggy problems has, I am sure, aggravated the long lasting darkness. As I drove my grandson to preschool and myself to the gym this morning, we noticed the blooming forsythia, trees and even the dandelions as signs of spring’s promise of renewal. I’m hoping you can plant those pansies and feel the promise of spring soon.


  2. Someone on another blog advised us to leave those dandelions alone, even when they poke through tiny gaps in my brick walk, because they’re nectar for the bees. I’ve been refraining from digging them out. So, where are the bees? Your opening picture of yellow dandelions made think they are precious little darlings, after all, not dreaded weeds. And then to read dear Ted Kooser’s piece about them as signs of early spring — oh, my!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – I’ve heard that about early dandelions, too. Out here in the country, I don’t bother digging them out…plus I harvest quite a few for dandelion wine eventually.


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