Happy spring! Though I peeked my head out of the cave in February, I retreated back into my lair until spring arrived. The German word for spring is Frühling (früh = early). In Austria you often hear the word Frühjahr (“early year”) as well, most commonly in connection with Frühjahrsmüdigkeit (“spring fatigue or lethargy”). This refers to the tiredness many feel this time of year attributable to hormonal changes that occur as the body emerges from winter mode and wakes up again. The flip side of spring fever, I suppose. Another older word for spring that mainly appears in song and poetry is Lenz, short for the word Lenzing (“long day”) that was formerly used to name the month in which spring begins. The days are indeed longer this side of the vernal equinox, allowing more time to appreciate color.

Colors that recur provide comfort and connect us to the season cycle. Currently I see yellow all around me. March is yellow with forsythia, the shrub shown at the top of this page that does things in reverse by flowering before producing leaves. March is yellow with primroses peppering the lawn. Though the flowers and leaves are edible, keep your hands off Primula vulgaris – it is under protection in many European countries including Austria. March is yellow with daffodils and tulips, the favorites of many a gardener.

Yellow is the cover of Julia Cameron’s book The Right to Write. It made its way into my collection years ago. I am finally reading it in an attempt to answer the question: What role should writing play in my life? Yellow is the color of a tattered folder holding sheets of paper whose blank sides can be used to print knitting patterns and rough drafts. And yellow is the color of cotton yarn on the needles taking shape into a runner for the pine dresser of my dreams.

May you enjoy the many shades of yellow around you!