Tuesday, April 3, 2018

What Springtime Means to Me by Victoria Chatham

I have two favorite seasons, spring and fall. I appreciate winter on very few days through that season, and summer instills a laziness in me but spring and fall always have the feeling that something is about to happen. Springtime in the Rockies, at least here in Alberta, is late this year. We’ve had some sunny days that have offered a promise, then another storm has blown in. It’s like taking one step forward and two back.

Springtimes of my childhood in England are still fondly remembered. It was a hive of activity with
my mother flinging open all the windows and washing everything in sight whether it be sheets and blankets or curtains and walls. At five years old mine was the task of sitting on the top of our garden wall and watching for the train as we lived quite close to a track. This was after I was fitted with my first pair of glasses and could actually see that plume of white smoke in the distance. Along with the smoke came dust, dirt, and cinders, so it was crucial to get all the washing off the line before the train passed by, so it wouldn’t require washing again.

Pussy Willow
Then there was the way the buds fattened on the trees before bursting into life, lambs in the fields and a freshness to everything. As American robins are the harbinger of spring in this part of the world, I remember cuckoos filling that role in England. Now, sadly, cuckoos are rare and less likely to be heard or seen. All the springtime flowers peep out from beneath hedgerows, the pale primrose and golden aconite with sprinkles of snowdrops here and there. 

My all-time favorite springtime wildflower, though, is the bluebell which fills woodlands with a carpet of blue and the most wonderful, heady scent.

Bluebell Wood
In England, I was a gardener. Here, in Canada, I potter at best. When I first had a garden here, I quickly became aware of zoning and a short, frustrating, growing season. My life changed and no longer included a garden of any kind. But I still enjoy the spring when it does arrive, joining the cats on the deck to enjoy the warming a sun and hopefully, the future of long, lazy days.


  1. I loved the Train-watching, to protect the laundry. Nice childhood memory.

  2. Lovely memories. Your descriptions of your childhood in England are especially vivid.