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           Volume 10 |Issue 10| March 11, 2011 |


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Spring and My Apprehensionr

Tulip Chowdhury

Another spring is here! Ah, it is a joy to celebrate the new season! I remember Mary Hopkin's song,
“Season turn, turn, turn
A time to love and a time to hate…..”

Of course this is how life is; it comes with light and darkness, with joy and sorrow and it comes with love and hate. This spring I find myself in anticipation of this spring and at the same time I am apprehensive too. I realise that passing yet another spring in life also means adding another year to my life. Another spring in my lifetime also means the hands of the clock are taking away some time away from me. The visual delight is there but the spiritual skeleton sighs. The aging self wishes that spring had come late so as to give more time to me. But alas! I know how futile my wishes are. Time will flow on in its own whirl of life and I will be left to laugh and cry in its wake.

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

Looking at the beautiful blue sky I momentarily forget all my apprehension and want to embrace spring for the abundance it brings in nature. I look at the sajna tree near my house. The tree is full of white blossoms. The green leaves and the white blossoms are a soothing picture for the eyes. Krishnochura flowers blossoming in their fiery orange stare up at the vast sky in great anticipation, as if they share a silent song of rejoice. Scarlet shimuls bloom valiantly among all hundred colours. When one looks at their fiery red a feeling of deep satisfaction comes as if spring in this colour is right in its attire. Varieties of birds fly around and the air is vibrant with their endless chorus. Among them all sings out the cuckoo with its long “coo…”. If the rich nature all around had taken me to a land of timelessness the call of the cuckoo brings me back to the world. And I look up to see the sky dark with the first rain clouds of the season. A gentle breeze seems to whisper of the coming rain. I stand under the open sky, ready to get wet in the rain. And when the rain does start its downpour it is like an emotional cleansing. I am more alive to this spring and once again the thoughts of death seep into my thoughts. Will I be here next spring to witness the season's arrival? I realise that even these flowers, birds, butterflies; all so vibrant may not be here next spring. I remember the Chinese proverb, “Falling leaves return to their roots.”

Spring is supposed to be the laurel of love, to fill the hearts with the joy of love. Having crossed half a century love now comes to me with a much larger meaning, a humongous existence of its own across the world in which I live. The fancy of romantic love has lived its time and now love comes pregnant with hundred possibilities. Romance has made its nest and continues to breathe with freedom. Now love in its colossal meaning embraces me from all around. Love is there for the years I will be in this world, for months, hours and for the passing of seconds. Love now holds meaning for each and every star that twinkles in the vast night sky, for each and every flower that blooms, for every plant that sprouts on the earth and for each individual that is with me. Love does not keep within a boundary, it penetrates through horizons and reaches beyond. I realise I am in love with life, with this world itself for I know not when my call to leave this precious life will come. My soul seems to flutter in fear of this inevitable call. It is as if I am living with the shadow of death trailing me all way round.

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

Spring comes for the singers and poets to give them space, to let them sing yet another song, to make them compose yet another poem. Spring comes for artists to paint yet another spring scenery on the canvas and the writers to write another love story for the masses. The queen of seasons assembles all the creations of mankind in colours, gives them another new touch for the year. The bees and the butterflies, the birds and the squirrel; among these all is the air of spring bringing in a new touch of buoyancy, a touch of life. And in the midst of it all I live finding life glowing all around. I too feel a warmth within me, a dream to live on. I want to hold on to the moments and never let them go. And in the midst of it all I sigh for I know I cannot hold on to anything for life. Life comes with its mortality following at heel.

Speaking of time reminds me of how short we are alive and how long dead! Life is indeed short compared to the hundred and one things I want to do. I wish yesterdays would turn and make a comeback. There is nostalgia, I wish I could go back to my childhood and have the carefree days again. I sigh for the gone youth and wish that the spring of my life had been longer. Indeed I have left the cherished time of life to the many springs that have crossed my way. Lost to these springs are many missed opportunities, loves that I have not paid heed to, mistakes that I have made. Many springs have passed by but they have given me wisdom that comes as a result of experience. Maybe that is what is good about aging; that one learns to appreciate life more and expand the world of wisdom.

Let the stars and the moon give out their lights in the night skies. Let the fleecy white clouds climb over the moon and play hide and seek. Let the sun rise everyday with its brilliant orange glow and set in the pink evening light. I wonder how many springs I am destined to witness the sunrises and sunsets. But what is important in that I am here now, that I am alive at this moment and have my near and dear ones to turn to. Let the other springs come, may they fill the hearts with joy even though I may not be here to share the love of spring. Spring is here again and how precisely Mark R Slaughter in his poem “Spring” seems to speak of my apprehension and my dreams;

A sense of warmth is tapping at the door;
And hope, a feeling out from distant lore
– Or so it seems – clears the deep refrain!

Emerging youth: a dormant lea awakes.
The raging colour, singing loud, partakes
In annual birth – spring is born again!...


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