“A Robin said: The Spring will never come,
And I shall never care to build again.
A Rosebush said: These frosts are wearisome,
My sap will never stir for sun or rain.
The half Moon said: These nights are fogged and slow,
I neither care to wax nor care to wane.
The Ocean said: I thirst from long ago,
Because earth's rivers cannot fill the main. —
When Springtime came, red Robin built a nest,
And trilled a lover's song in sheer delight.
Grey hoarfrost vanished, and the Rose with might
Clothed her in leaves and buds of crimson core.
The dim Moon brightened. Ocean sunned his crest,
Dimpled his blue, yet thirsted evermore.” (Christina Rossetti)
It is going to snow today. The weather prognosticators say it will snow tomorrow, too. How can that be? I thought today was the first day of spring? Who can help but feel and think like the Robin, the Rosebush, the Half-Moon and the Ocean in Christina Rossetti’s poem: “The Spring will never come,…I shall never care to build again…These frosts are wearisome,…My sap will never stir for sun or rain…I neither care to wax nor care to wane.” When winter continues into what is supposed to be spring, or when life gets messy and tumbles in, don’t we all say, “The Spring will never come.”
Spring does come eventually, but it will always be followed by the heat of summer, the decay of autumn and the cold of winter. Spring may take its time in getting here, but it will come. There is hope for the Robin, the Rosebush, the Half-Moon and the Ocean, and there is hope for us and our cold and wintry spirits. Mark Twain diagnosed our ailment when he said, “Its spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
We are born with this ailment and we are forever feverish. Spring fever is with us in every season, whether spring, summer, autumn or winter. We don’t quite know what it is we want, but “it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Spring fever is our search for life—for its fullness and abundance. Unfortunately (and this is why the fever) life includes many different seasons, each with its ups and downs, its joys and its sorrows. Sometimes it snows on the first day of spring, sometimes even on the second day of spring. Life is winter, spring, summer and autumn and we must live as fully as we can in each.