PLAIN THOUGHTS: Flowers of spring

By Judith Hensley

In the fall I look for changes in leaf color, but in spring I look for the first blossoms. I love the seasons and changes in nature that we enjoy across the Appalachian region. There is so much beauty to behold!

I often think about other drivers and if they see the same things I see out my car window? Do they take note of the changes or zoom past the beauty?

Yesterday I had an appointment in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was stunned at the difference in the blooming trees just that far south of us in southeastern Kentucky. I had an appointment last week in Lexington and noted that our season here is further along than in the central part of the state.

The first tree I saw blooming was a sarvice (service berry), I believe. But the further south we got toward Knoxville,  the more white blossoms there were scattered along the countryside. I believe many of them were early blooming pear trees. They were everywhere in and on our Knoxville drive. It was a joy to behold!

The jonquils/daffodils are already up in our area, but as we drove, I saw fields of them! Their yellow heads blanketing old homestead places and fields where houses have long been gone were a reminder that someone’s loving hands gave them a start.

The first flowers to press through the winter soil are usually small ones that are easy to overlook when out for a drive. Crocuses are among the first brave little plans to push through and raise their faces to the sun.  Their purple flowers are a sure sign that spring is around the corner.

Looking out across the rolling hills of Tennessee, we had a beautiful view of the trees just beginning to put forth their new tender shoots in palest shades of green, blushing reds, and hints of orange. These subtle changes would be easy to miss if a person weren’t programmed to look for them. The first colors a tree puts forth are a pale reflection of the colors their leaves will become in fall.

The magnolia outside my kitchen window already has buds in place, just waiting for the right temperature and sunshine to pop open. My rose bushes are already putting out new shoots with reddish tipped leaves. It won’t be long until buds start appearing.

I have a very smallish yard. I’ve planted many different things, but the only plant that will grow and thrive are knockout roses. I cut them back in the fall and they pop right out in the spring.

My fantasy home wouldn’t be one with elaborate and ornate fixtures inside. It would be a comfortable one with big rooms and cozy furniture. The outside would be most important to me. I’d love to have a big porch, a garden path through a jungle of well-placed seasonal flowers, and a gazebo. An English garden would be wonderful with paths to walk and blossoms to photograph. But I’d probably need a gardener to go with it.

I think if there were no other millions of sources of proof of God’s existence, the beauty and diversity of flowers and trees, animals, humans, and all living things is enough to assure me that there is God. He is Creator. He is a master artist and earth is His canvas. He loves color and beauty, diversity, and whimsy in all living things.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10 New International Version of the Bible)