Every year spring is an event, a renewal which occurs over and over again. And yet, it is always so new, so fresh and unconsumed, so current, as if it had never been before. Again and again it is expected, it is acclaimed and cheered, even sung about; again and again it casts its spell over everything. It is hard to imagine that there is a person alive who does not open his heart and his senses to its invigorating effects, even if only for a few moments.

Like everything in nature, spring prepares itself long before it manifests before our eyes. Still invisible to us at first, it grows, as it were, out of winter, like land rising out of the ocean.

Winter is silence and stillness. The deciduous trees are bare, the herbs have all withdrawn into rootstocks and tubers, the caterpillars are either underground or pupated, the frogs retreat into the mud, the hedgehogs are safely hidden in the burrows under brushwood and foliage, most of the birds are gone, having migrated to warmer climes. The animals and the birds which still remain are prepared for the cold and the scarcity of food, their survival instincts driving them to new heights of dexterity and resourcefulness. It almost seems as if only forms surround us – bare trees, silent surfaces, frozen ponds – from which the drive of life has departed. But winter is not a time of lifelessness. It is

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