As published by Off The Shelf:
“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.”
Ah, spring, you are most welcome! As Kenneth Grahame so deliciously puts it in his classic tale The Wind in the Willows, it is “moving in the air” and penetrating the earth, stirring something within us that has lain latent these past dark months. Spring’s arrival is nothing like the first blows of winter—it seeps in soft and timid (and for many of us, long overdue!), yet once here, its arrival is irrefutable and unstoppable. It’s a new smell on the breeze, the observation that that “breeze” no longer feels like biting wind. The first sound of solitary birdsong. The first time you realize that you don’t actually want to hustle to get back indoors but instead wish to pause for a moment, face upturned to the sky, to savor the gentle warmth of the long-absent sunshine on your cheeks.
As I live in Chicago, the return of spring is something I relish and celebrate as an almost sacred event. This is particularly true because I am a dog owner, and so I’m out of doors for long walks every single day of the year, whether the forecast is one of abundant sunshine or driving snow and frigid wind (and given that it’s Chicago, it’s very often the latter).
Nothing makes me happier than to welcome spring each year with my annual rereading of Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows. Immersing myself in this tale for children of all ages, I can perfectly envision the lush green meadows of Grahame’s shires, I can smell the loamy musk of the thawed river. The marvelous and mischievous vernal adventures of Mr. Toad, the Mole, River Rat, and Mr. Badger speak to that delicious childlike desire in all of us to…CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE VIA OFF THE SHELF.