Spring is here and the world as we know it is just a few tightly furled buds away from bursting into a glorious potpourri of color.
It will be like eye candy, I’m thinking.
But for now the world as know it is still kind of gray and, if the truth were known, it seems a little dirty.
Luckily, even though the first delicate hues and gentle shades of spring haven’t quite sprung forward, the pussy willows are out.
I knew they were out because my sister has a huge bouquet of them in her living room. Her son brought them to her, a priceless gift and a gentle reminder of the changing seasons.
A few days after I admired the lovely bouquet, in which she had placed deer antlers to add to its charm, and I decided I, too, would capture some of the magic of spring, alias a bouquet of pussy willows for my own self.
And so it came to be on a night that smelled like spring with water running in the ditches and the winter’s snow slowly relinquishing its icy hold on the land, myself and three little blue jean clad, blue-eyed boys went in search of our own pussy willows.
“We will pick some for your mom,” I told them. “She will love them.”
“Yes,” agreed the oldest. “And we will wrap them with a red ribbon.”
“Right,” I said, impressed with his thoughtfulness.
As it turned out the pussy willows were scarce and barely visible and really high.
It didn’t matter.
Searching for pussy willows in a roadside ditch, full of brown weeds and scratchy bushes, with my three grandsons in tow was without a doubt, the very best way to spend a soft and gentle evening that smelled like spring.
People driving by waved at us and we waved back and, for some reason, we were quite happy and pleased with ourselves.
In the end we managed to capture only a meager bouquet of the silky gray perfection, but when we tied a red ribbon around them, they looked quite lovely indeed.
We piled back into the car, parked on the side of the dusty, gravel road, the two older boys each vying for a front seat spot. The youngest had resigned himself to sitting in his cousin’s pink car seat, waiting patiently for the next adventure.
“How about ice cream?” I suggested, mostly to take their mind off the seating arrangements, but also because I didn’t want to relinquish my time with these three little charges quite yet.
And so it came to be that the four of us, on a night that smelled like spring, went happily through the Dairy Queen drive through, coming out on the other end with four delectable chocolate covered ice cream cones.
The pussy willows were an instant hit with the boy’s mom.
She put them on her front step!
Thanks to the ever-changing seasons, there will always be spring and pussy willows and God’s green earth to marvel at.
But, sadly, childhood is fleeting, and, all too soon, little boys grow up.
But not so grandmas, I’m thinking.
Grandmas can be young forever, as long as they have grandchildren to love, pussy willows to pick and, finally, a delectable chocolate-covered ice cream cone to enjoy.
Treena Mielke lives in Sylvan Lake and is the editor of the Rimbey Review.