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What Will Surprise You This Spring? An Invitation to Surprises

by Judy Stone-Goldman on March 17, 2015

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This blog post has one question: What will surprise you this spring?

Spring is a time for the familiar to be reborn and for the new to arrive. Buds return to decorate bare winter branches. Colors suddenly dot landscapes. Green takes over gray. In my old house, I knew what to expect. Spring brought refreshment, but rarely surprises.

This year, however, all is new. The landscape around our new home, covered for the past four months in winter weeds and shaded by the grays and browns of darker  months, is waking up. With the weeds gone and fresh, dark mulch lying gracefully atop beds (thanks to nearly eight hours of work from landscapers), we are delighted to discover how peaceful and lovely our little terrain is.

And even better — right in the front yard — a small array of tulips has popped up, the bulbs still green atop stalks, the floppy green leaves folding over themselves. These tulips will bloom in as yet-unknown colors.

I wrote of tulips in spring 2013 when a few tulip leaves of long-ago bulbs made their way to the surface. They were remnants, traces of what had once been alive and vibrant. The tulip leaves that made their way through the dirt were but a memory of a time past. I never spent time thinking about whether I would have new tulips in my garden, but here they are. They say to me, “What appears to fade, to be gone forever, can return to the sunlight, can find life again.”  The bulbs are new, the soil is different, and the sunlight comes at a different angle, but these tulips will nevertheless be part of my story and will connect with whatever fragments remain from tulips long gone. They are a new chapter awaiting its fresh narrative.

The tulips are my surprise today as spring stakes its claim.

What will surprise you this spring?

Writing Prompts: “When I think of surprises, the first thing that comes to mind is ______” (then keep writing); “I’d love to be surprised by ______” (then keep writing).

Where will you look for surprises?

Take a walk and look at what you think is familiar

Take a walk to some place you’ve never been

Walk in an area with trees, landscaping, or natural environments and smell everything you can

Look out our window at what you think you see every day

Write every day and trust your inner landscape to bring surprises

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

William Charlebois March 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

Our first hint of spring are the snowdrops that grow next to our front porch. It isn’t a surprise to see them. They have been returning and slowly multiplying for a couple of years. The surprise is that after such horrible cold months they dare to poke their little leaves out and then bravely grow to give us such wonderful little flowers. Nothing is going to hold them back. I think they tell us to forget the past and move forward with a renewed vigor and with new hope.


Judy Stone-Goldman
March 27, 2015 at 9:52 am

Bill, This is such a wonderful comment, bringing its own “vigor and hope”! I had to find a picture of snowdrops to really know what they are. Your description of them being “brave” is beautiful and reminds me to appreciate not just the beauty of spring but the courage. I’ve been tracking our tulips as they grow and open (just today!), and I am using your words to deepen my gratitude for them.


Liz Gow March 21, 2015 at 8:02 pm

I had to have a giggle as we are going into Autumn and I am thinking of shedding. Great though to remind myself of what the shedding will make space for. Enjoy Spring. x


Judy Stone-Goldman
March 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm

We are in the international internet, so of course it’s not spring everywhere. Perhaps you can enjoy some vicarious blossoming at the same time that you begin to release in anticipation of darker, colder weather. Even closer to (my) home, some US citizens are barely emerged from the snowy, frigid winter here. I am well aware of how lucky we are to have true spring. Thanks for sharing even though you can’t enjoy spring quite yet. 🙂


Kathy Gabriel April 15, 2015 at 7:17 am

Judy, your reflection is unbelievably timely. I will contact you. Enjoy the tulips! 🙂


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