It has been three decades since I lived in a land where winter brought desolation to plant life (yes, I was 8 when we moved from France…). San Diego and Southern California have winter, but never do the colors disappear, and many of the trees keep their leaves or fronds throughout the year. Winter in So Cal continues in technicolor, even in the “dead” of winter.

Here in DC, while this winter has been surprisingly mild, with only dustings of snow and very little rain or bad weather, all of the trees around us were naked throughout the winter, and very few plants graced the flowerbeds outside the apartment (and what did grace did so wiltingly, for the most part).

And now it is mid-March and nature is erupting triumphantly, if a little earlier than usual for these parts (or so say the natives). What a feast for the senses! Everywhere I look, I see blossoms: the tulip trees in the apartment nearby, the pink ornamental cherry trees on our hillside, these delightful white-flowered trees that are in so many yards around us (I suspect these are also cherry trees, though a different kind), and shrubs of every shape and size.

And on the ground, everywhere I look, I see tulips and crocuses and irises and other lovely flowers pushing up through the soil in a riot of color…there at the base of a tree…there in the middle of a field…and over there at the edge of a parking lot or construction site. Ecstatic to now see the sun.

The trees that have not yet sprung into full-leafed glory are fuzzy with little leaf buds growing on all of the tiny twigs, and I imagine little poings of delight as they pop out of their buds, stretching and expanding in the sunlight, soon dressing the trees in gowns of green.

I do believe it’s time to put on classical music that celebrates nature (Stravinsky, Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Strauss, and so many others), for surely nature is singing delighted tunes in this kaleidoscope of color.