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“Every spring is the only spring – perpetual astonishment.” – Ellis Peters. © 2012 EddinsImages

Remember when you were very young… how the simplest little thing could be an object of absolute joy and wonderment?

Like flowers in an early spring garden.  Or, a favorite object.

Springtime at my Grandparent’s house in New Jersey: after long, grey, northern winters, any bits of color – crimson buds against cerulean skies, green leaves reaching up to unfurl from hardened earth, screaming yellow flowers with neon noses held atop emerald stems – were welcome celebrations of the earth’s rebirth. When I was very little, it was bliss to be outside without a cumbersome snowsuit, feel the warm sun on my skin, smell early-blooming narcissus in the garden, and feel the rich, cool dirt in my hands, on my knees and under my nails.

Each spring I scrunched under the shrubs in the backyard to discover my favorite lion-faced pansies bobbing atop rich, freshly turned soil. Carefully, I’d lift-up the delicate pansy heads to examine their charming purple and white faces. My very own little lions. I’d spend forever, studying and comparing one flower to another, choosing my very favorite. And, each day on my visit to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, I’d run outside early in the morning to be sure my very favorite lion-face was still safe and blooming.

Best of all, nestled amongst the lion-faced pansies, were two cast-iron frogs, one painted light green and the other dark green with a white belly. In my shaded pansy paradise, I petted and played with the frogs, adoring them as if they were living creatures, hour after hour.

It was all so simple and wondrous. Each spring, each day…

Today, half a century later, my darling grandparents are long gone. Their home is gone. And, their marvelous garden with each spring’s promise, is gone. However, my beloved cast-iron frogs have found their forever home with me. Their paint has all but worn away, and each little frog has patinated so that the pair shows a near-identical, rusty-bronze color. To anyone seeing them for the first time, they are hardly the cheerful Spring Princes of my childhood days.

However, I remember.

To me, the frogs are every bit as wondrous as they were fifty years ago. They remind me of spring in New Jersey. Of lion-faced pansies. Of Grandma and Grandpa. And, they remind me of the joy and excitement I felt when experiencing the simplest things. By contrast, today, often bogged-down in the day-to-day mechanics of adulthood… raising a child, being a wife, caring for pets, making a living, managing a home, shopping and child shuttling from one activity to another… I feel overwhelmed. Some days, all I can do is get through the nuts and bolts of living. No time for whimsy.

Then comes spring. Everything is anew. Each day is fresh. A redo from the day before. And all the days before that. I can forget my troubles. Move forward from my mistakes. And I see that what made me happy fifty years ago still makes me happy today. I just need to remember. I just need to make time to enjoy life, experience the wonder, as I expected to when I was still a child.

Spring reminds me to be the me I expected to be.

I’m off to find some pansies for my frogs…

Photo taken with an iPhone 4. © 2012 EddinsImages