Winter Spring

The days are colder than they’ve been this winter, but still the cold sun whispers spring. Every day adds another five minutes of daylight and when it’s sunny as it is today water drops from eaves at noon. I can feel the branches stretch with rush of sap. The hazel is blooms with tiny flowers and the pussy willow buds are filling, waiting yet to burst.

hesitating —
daylight can’t be trusted
hoarfrost on the buds

When I was young my mother used to cut some branches and put in water just in time before Easter. I remember caressing willow kittens, believing that the spring had come. This time of year, the winter-spring is full of hope, and when I can I turn my face toward the sun, but still we feed the birds, cause every night is icy cold. The buds are waiting just like me.

tzi-da, tzi-da —
at my kitchen window
another great tit

Sleep little willow by Elsa Beskow

Today Victoria hosts haibun Monday at dVerse with the topic is No Ko Me—Tree Buds. A wonderful time of the year to wonder what happens in nature.

Just thought I’d share a translation of a Swedish children’s song for the illustration I have chosen:

Sleep Little Willow

Sleep little willow
it’s still winter
Still asleep are birch and heather
rose and hyacinths
It’s still a long time until spring
before rowan is flowering
Sleep little willow
it’s still winter

Sunshine’s eye is watching you
sunshine’s arms rock you
The forest’s path will soon be green
and every flower will bloom
Yet a little sunshine prayer
little willow becomes so green
Sunshine’s eye sees you
sunshine’s arms rock you.
March 5, 2018

52 responses to “Winter Spring

  1. Thank you for the haibun and the children’s song, both were lovely. Spring feels both very close and very far off at the moment, the added daylight is keeping me hanging on though.

  2. Yes, the garden is full of birdsong, and there is a sense that spring is coming. Someone told me you shouldn’t put pussy willow in water, if you keep it dry you prolong the life of those soft grey buds. Thank you for reminding me of pussy willow, it’s such a special thing at this time of year. There’s nothing quite as soft and smooth.

  3. Beautiful and moving haibun. I especially love the song you provided. I have cut some branches of forsythia and missy willow and placed them in a jar of water inside. I love watching them awaking.

  4. Ah yes, light cannot be trusted in the spring. One day is warm and two days later back to freezing again. Hesitating buds… I like that!

  5. This is all so lovely, Björn–the mix of hesitating spring, the willows, childhood songs, and childhood memories. I am also lured and heartened by the longer days, though it is certainly not as cold here as where you are. That extra sunlight brightens everything.

  6. its lovely to read how spring transitions from winter where you life and the traditions that mark its entrance. thank you for the lovely translation of that children’s song, it’s so full of reassurance.

  7. So touching, all of it, Bjorn. Spring is an iffy time. We have to have faith. Perhaps that is the message of Easter…Hope and faith. Your haibun is lovely and the children’s song is too. We have had a very early winter here in the south, snow on Dec. 3rd, very unusual and again in early January….and these were real snowstorms. Then such warm spring weather and now back to cold. The Earth can’t seem to make up its mind. The snowfalls were followed by the brightest blue skies I have ever seen. Yes, I agree, we must have faith that Spring will come before we burst.

  8. I really do love the idea of Northern springtime – it seems so magical. I also recall the willow catkins of my youth.

  9. “I can feel the branches stretch with rush of sap.”
    Luv this very sensitive image from You. Happy Tuesday


  10. The second poem suits my taste rhe better . We had the pussy willows in Nebraska, some cut and put in water.

  11. Beautiful! Love the double prose pieces and the sprinkling of haiku at middle and close. The illustration, you chose and the children’s song worked so well with your pussy willow reminiscence.

  12. I love the tenderness – of your poem, the illustration, and the children’s song.

  13. Lovely, Bjorn, acute too because the winter has so overstayed its welcome this year. (Are you also being mistreated by the Beast From the East?) There springlike yearning of the first haibun finds even deeper meaning in the wintry retreat of the second.

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