ANZ's Farms

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Harbingers of Spring

On an exam in nursing school, a professor used the word "harbinger" in an essay question. Thankfully, I had the advantage of an English teacher for a mother so I knew its meaning, but I was in the minority. Since the professor was unwilling to give a vocabulary lesson, fellow students missed the question and were very angry. I haven't forgotten the incident altho I'm not sure what I had for breakfast yesterday.

I like the word harbinger ... which means a herald, a person or thing that goes before to announce or give an indication of what is to come. And my favorite use of the word is the phrase "harbinger of spring". By mid-February, every harbinger of spring is a welcome sight or sound -- birds chirping as I awaken, the tender green shoots of early blooming bulbs pushing through the mulch, daylight before 7 am and even the mud that is part of winter's passing. I am anxious to get outdoors again, mow the lariope, start the seeds, till the garden. One year I couldn't resist the urge to plant and lost all that I put in the ground prematurely. So I must restrain the urges that feel like sap rising in my soul. Soon enough it will be time.

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