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Posts Tagged ‘spring is sprung’

Spring in the Bronx

Spring is sprung,
Duh grass is riz;
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Dey say duh boid is on duh wing:
But dat’s absoid!
Duh wing is on duh boid!
Anonymous

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, 2013!

When I read the words to the above poem, I read them hearing the voice (and accent) of Archie Bunker!

I used to hear this poem from various relatives when I was a child. Sometimes, though, instead of reciting “I wonder where dem boidies is” I would hear, “I wonder where dem flowers is?” This was perhaps because I grew up in the Northeast, where “dem flowers” were still buried by many feet of snow on the first day of spring.

hyacinthFor my adult years spring is not marked by a date on the calendar, but by the presence of planted bulbs in pots at the grocery store.

As an adult, a planted hyacinth was often the gift of my maternal grandmother, Nanny. It was always purple (even though the color could barely be discerned when she purchased it), her favorite color. It was always a strong, heady scent that emerged, almost before it bloomed.

That scent, the perfume of the hyacinth flower says, ‘spring’ to my soul.

As a child it was the scent of mud that said spring to me. The winter’s snow would melt, allowing the warming sun to thaw the frozen earth. It would soften and cake our boots and shoes, causing the most ‘earthy’ scent to rise to our nostrils. Causing our thoughts to drift to warmer days, warmer activities.

This new sign of spring, that of the hyacinth scent, also takes me to warmer thoughts. Thoughts from my childhood days with my grandmother. Thoughts of taking a city bus from her home into town, to shop, and always to have lunch in a cafeteria. Thoughts of picking raspberries with her, then we would take them to her kitchen where she would make a pie from them … she made the best raspberry pie! Thoughts of her nodding off in her chair, crossword in hand, game show on the telly. Thoughts of her visiting when our oldest was still a preschooler, sitting snugly beside her, as my grandmother read her a story from a picture book … my grandmother with an uncompleted grammar school education. Thoughts of her faded Scottish brogue. Thoughts of her giggle.

The first signs of spring, the flowers in the pots, don’t take me forward to spring, they take me back, to the loving relationship I had with my Nanny.

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