Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough...
Crabapple trees are lovely, too.
I first read this poem by A. E. Housman when I was a schoolgirl in Calgary in the 50's. I had never seen a cherry tree, but I still understood what the poet was talking about. Housman concludes that if he wants to appreciate “the cherry hung with snow”, he should waste no time because:
Of my three score years and ten
Twenty will not come again.
I feel the same now, except that by his poetic calculations I only have two years left in which to enjoy my favourite season.
One of the best things about travelling to work was my 25 km. drive through the greening countryside of rural Ontario. In springtime, for an hour each day, I delighted in the old lilac and apple trees blooming where they must have been planted long ago beside farm gates that have now disappeared.
But in retirement, when it is spring, it is all spring all the time. There is nothing now to keep me from sitting under my frothy, pink flowering crabapple (I still don't have a cherry tree) all day, every day.
And I am much more optimistic than good old Housman. I am counting on many more years in which to go about the woodland, my neighbourhood, and my garden to marvel at the miracle of spring.