Commentary
5:00 am
Fri April 16, 2010

Richard Crowson: The Generosity Of Spring

Spring is such a generous season. Without our having to lift a finger, nature showers us with spectacular abundance every April. It didn’t require a public vote on which trees would bud first. There was no legislation passed stipulating that by a certain date all tulips would burst open. The enthusiastic birdsong outside our kitchen windows every morning now does not have to be critiqued by a panel of celebrity judges.

It just happens. Just like it always happens. Whether we deserve it or not, every spring unrolls in front of us like plush carpet and strewn petals before royalty. Most of the time I stride with all the self-importance of Louis XIV right past the splendor as if I had regal duties to perform and no time to appreciate a simple waving daffodil. It waves anyway proffering it’s cheery bright yellow gift. No appreciation required.

I spent the past weekend as an artist/vendor at the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine. Through the guidance of owner Robin Macy and her many hard-working friends, the Arboretum is in bloom again, celebrating 100 years of nature’s generous abundance. Every April the gates are opened for an event called Art at the Arb. Artists and craftspeople set up their tables and exhibits all over the grounds. The juxtaposition of my smart-allecky cartoon display tucked amidst the spiritual brilliance of the dogwoods and the tulips made me feel a bit like Bart Simpson in a Zen Buddhist monastery.

But I found a few moments to close my eyes, feel that ever-present Kansas breeze, listen to sweet songs filtering through the fresh green waving branches and think to myself, “I know all this isn’t done just for humankind, but right now, in this moment, on this April day, I’m going to feel as grateful for it as if it were."