by Steve Sorensen
(Originally published in the Warren Times Observer, March 16, 2013.)
my eyesight was better when I was a kid, I didn’t see then what I see now. With
each passing year the changes I witness in springtime seem more and more impressive.
Do you have eyes to see it? Do you see the things behind the things you see?
Why we don’t ooh and ahh
variegated spring hills, like we do in fall?
you seeing raggedy-looking deer feeding voraciously in fields along the roads? We
see their coats beat up by three months of harsh weather. One reason those deer
are so hungry now is that many of them, as the saying goes, are “eating for
two” – or even three. Inside some of those deer, seen only by God, are fawn
embryos – and their developmental pace is picking up speed. By the end of May,
those fawns will start hitting the ground.
you step out of your house in the morning, are you hearing songbirds composing sonatas
for their mates? It reminds me that turkeys are strutting and gobbling as the
gobblers try to catch the interest of the hens. Remarkably, the harsh winter
seems to have had little effect on the feathered armor of the big birds – much
less than it had on the hair of the deer as they shed the gray-brown winter
coat for the red-brown summer coat.
you see baby robins in the nest, will you realize most animals have been
programmed to bear young in the spring, when optimum conditions prevail? If fawns
were born and chicks were hatched in November, they’d never survive. The young
of coyotes and foxes are also born in spring, and their transition to solid
food is timed perfectly – it’s the same time the offspring of prey species
enter the world.
species must be prolific because their young suffer high mortality. A turkey
hen, for example, will hatch a dozen or more poults and is lucky if half of
them still survive come fall. By then their flesh has nourished ravenous prey
animals. Yes, predators gotta eat.
you noticed how much more profound the changes to the trees are in the spring
than in the fall? The beautiful colors in the autumn landscape are hard to miss
as fall gives us a show that peaks for only about a week. If we have eyes to
see it, spring gives us a show that lasts from now to June, and beyond.
hills around us will soon turn pink as the leaf buds on the hardwood trees
begin to swell. Before long, those hills gradually transition from pink to seemingly
infinite shades of green – from the palest that’s virtually yellow, to the deepest
green of the primeval hemlocks.
hardwood species has its own vernal hue, and proceeds at its own pace to a
mature, vibrant green. To me, the greens of spring put on a show just as spectacular
as the brilliant reds and oranges and yellows of fall. Why we don’t ooh and ahh
at the variegated spring hills, like we do in fall?
prophet Ezekiel said, “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people.
They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear” (Ezekiel
12:2). I hope our eyes aren’t failing to see the splendor of spring because
we’re rebellious, or self-absorbed, or spiritually nearsighted. We tell
ourselves to stop and smell the roses. Can we also tell ourselves to stop and
soak in the beauty as we stand on the threshold of earth’s glorious green?
said in Matthew 13:13, “This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing,
they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Could there
be a parable for us in those cryptic words? When glorious green breaks out all
around us, will we see the trees of our hillsides proclaiming their praise for
their creator in the way he made them to do? And will we join the chorus?