While spring officially arrived more than a week ago, the new season has had a bit of difficulty getting its footing here in the Ozarks. Just this past Saturday, in fact, it was snowing when I rolled out of bed in the morning. Today is beautiful, however, and spring appears to have finally conquered the lingering winter. The trees are beginning to bud, the grass is greening, peonies have pushed their way through the cold ground and are now about an inch high, and my jonquils, the new ones whose bulbs I planted last fall, are up and in full bloom. Spring is here, along with all of the wonderful sounds, colors, and smells of nature's renewal.
As a tribute to the spring, I have chosen a poem to share entitled "Ode to the Plum Blossom." It was written by the former Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong. Surprisingly, at least to me, Chairman Mao penned quite a bit of poetic verse in his lifetime.
Here are Mao Zedong's thoughts on a little flower that was a harbinger of spring. She shares her beauty not for herself alone, but for the benefit of all. (That almost sounds like a political statement!)
Ode to the Plum Blossom
by Mao Zedong
Wind and rain escorted Spring's departure,
Flying snow welcomes Spring's return.
On the ice-clad rock rising high and sheer
A flower blooms sweet and fair.
Sweet and fair, she craves not Spring for herself alone,
To be the harbinger of Spring she is content.
When the mountain flowers are in full bloom
She will smile mingling in their midst.
Outside the post-house, beside the broken bridge, Alone, deserted, a flower blooms.
Saddened by her solitude in the falling dusk,
She is now assailed by wind and rain.
Let other flowers be envious!
She craves not Spring for herself alone.
Her petals may be ground in the mud,
But her fragrance will endure.