The Rosy Side of Spring Drizzle

April 26, 2017

I know that after the long winters we have in Maine, the days of spring drizzle, even when the temperature is in the fifties, are not loved.  It’s April and everyone is eager for sun and real warmth, the kind of warmth when you feel genuinely comfortable—not just pretending to be ok—in sandals and short sleeves.  We have had that—a little—but these past two days have been all lowering clouds and chilly rain.  Bands of mist have hovered over the lake all day, and everything on land is drenched, beaded and filmed with water.

The view out my study window is gray.

I don’t deny that most of what we think of as spring color—the bright yellow of the daffodils for example—loses some of its luster in the spring drizzle.  But I think some colors gain from the rain, glowing with a subtle radiance that is lost in full sunlight.  This is true of the frothy scarlet of red maple flowers.  The maples are at the height of their bloom now and their crowns have been gleaming in the marsh and in the hills against a backdrop of dark conifers.  It is also true of the color in the hearts of the rain-swollen acorns that fell in such abundance from the red oaks last fall.  This time of year, the husks of fallen acorns crack open a little, exposing a slice of  rose-red flesh.  In subdued light, when slick with rain, this fiery flesh can glow.

Soft gray world of rain—
Old acorns crack open now
sprouting, red with life


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