Spring has overwhelmed me,
a season too fast, too greening for mere words,
new life erupting,
almost violent in its need to live.
Babies are everywhere: goats, calves, lambs, piglets
with their new limbs run, dance,
prance across the fields, madly, joyfully,
contagious in their joie de vivre.
It is a frightening thing to an old man like me,
who has seen so many springs rise and fall again
into cruel winter, again and again, and again,
who has seen so many gardens die,
so many flowers killed by winter,
their corpses never rising with the warmth of May,
life a constant replanting, yo have resisted
But this green season has conquered your fear,
overcome you with its vigor, its speed,
its passion for life, and you have become its willing victim,
surrendering to the other truth.
Not that all things die,
but that all things may live again.
About this poem
Yesterday I was traveling with my daughter, running errands, and we commented on how quickly spring has arrived in Vermont this year. Just a couple of weeks ago I was clearing snow off my car to take my son to college, and today everything is wildly green. Flowers dot the landscape. It’s been crazy, a change almost too fast to comprehend.
I wrote a long essay yesterday about getting married a second time, which is happening for me in a few short weeks. A rambling bit of writing, it outlines my journey and speaks of love as an act of faith. I still haven’t decided whether to publish it. But I am living in a place of unexpected joy, and I can’t seem to hold it in. I’ve learned an important lesson – that we are never as dead as we think.
From those two things, this poem.