Prince Edward Island has many beautiful times of the year. Spring is full of the slightly flourescent greens of new growth, bravely blooming flowers, bright auburn moist soil, sounds of tractors preparing crops, fishing boats bringing in some of the best lobster of the year and brilliant blue skies. Summer is full of flowers, fresh-cut lawns, beach sand, fruit and vegetable stands, smells of BBQs wafting through the air and tourists praising our little paradise. The Fall is serene, has treasured warm days, the harvest is ready, thanks is given, yellows and oranges splash against deep blue skies. Winter comes; it’s controversial and most discussed. Some like the chance to get out on snowshoes and skis, make the most of it with friends; others stay neatly tucked indoors wrapped in blankets by the fire, and we all watch the weather.
There is another season in Prince Edward Island that the tourists do not really know about, and we don’t go out of our way to tell them or show them; it is Almost Spring and Islanders know it well. Yes, it has beautiful blue skies, but the land shows a battle-worn weariness from winter with expanses of dark browns covered by dirty, honeycombed snow. The gardens look wet and messy and hidden from view. But the thing about Almost Spring is what one doesn’t see which is the most powerful part of it and what eventually reveals itself to be true. As the newly uncovered ground draws the warmth from the sun, it remembers what it has to do. The first peeks of crocuses make us know it remembered and the tulips confirm it. The rains come to wash away the memories of winter, and soon we, too, remember that Prince Edward Island is indeed one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Clyde River reveals Almost Spring in all its glory. The river that was grey is now sapphire blue. The birds are already full into enjoying the season. Pussy willows start filling the ditches. The brown and white striped landscape turns to brown and lets the sun and the farmers do their work. Maybe we have something to learn from Almost Spring. The not-yet beautiful landscape does not tempt us from our own preparations for becoming our full Summer selves.
Thanks to Jo-Ann MacPhail for her landscape photos.