The Repetition of “Firsts”

Yesterday I picked our first bouquet of fresh flowers from the beds that surround Whispering Winds – an 18″ sprig of bright yellow forsythia standing tall above seven pale yellow daffodils. The fresh bouquet was the centerpiece in the living room for our hymn sing yesterday.

The day before, the daffodils weren’t open yet. The first stars of the landscape were the crocuses in full bloom.

Last week we grilled our first hamburgers and hotdogs of the season.

The week before, we saw our first robins return. Then I saw my favorite birds return – goldfinches.

The very first sign of spring was the return of the geese to our pond – when there was still a little ice on the pond.

All these firsts. They’re the same firsts we excitedly looked for last year, and I expect we’ll be just as excited next year then these firsts will appear for us again.

Why are we so excited to see exactly the same things again this year that we saw last year – and that we’ll see again next year? Crocuses. Daffodils. Pretty soon we’ll see the first tulips and lilacs. This week I’ll probably grill our first salmon burgers of the season.

Daffodils remind me of how much fun it is to have fresh-cut flowers in the house. Once the daffodils arrive, the process of cutting flowers should continue until the last roses of summer.

Robins and goldfinches remind me of long walks along country roads and listening to the joyful songs of the bird choruses.

The geese remind me of sitting out on the deck on a lazy summer afternoon and watching them peacefully float around the pond. I especially love to watch them while I’m waiting to flip the burgers on the grill out on the deck.

The annual repetition of all of nature’s seasonal firsts brings back such pleasant memories. These memories rekindle in us the anticipation of so many more of God’s blessings to come…

As I was thinking about all these springtime firsts this year, I thought of the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth.” I entered those words into the search box on and discovered a beautiful new tune written by John Rutter for this hymn. Here’s the link to Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Primary) choir singing it with beautiful images of nature to illustrate it. “For the beauty of the earth … this our hymn of grateful praise.”

What are your favorite firsts of spring, or other firsts that are repeated annually. (Perhaps the first snowfall???) And, what do these firsts really signify for you?

5 responses to “The Repetition of “Firsts””

  1. When it’s time to hunker down for winter I remove the screens from my windows so that the winter sunlight is brighter, blocked only by the glass, in all the rooms. So, when there is the hint of spring in the air, out comes the windex or vinegar and hot water. Once winter dirt is washed off, then out come the screens, the windows get cranked open and the first spring breeze wafts through the condo. I don’t even mind when the first spring showers blow against the clean windows. And, of course, the first spring showers bring out another sign of spring not mentioned in your blog – the worms! Then we can watch those first robins go after those first worms, and some of the other cycles of life are set into motion. Fingers crossed for a lovely, long spring!

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. Wish you could come and wash all the windows at Whispering Winds for us! And yes, you did mention the worms that come out after the spring rains. I understand that worms are an important part of nature’s cycle of life, but I still hate to see them, and I hate even more to accidentally step on them. I’d much rather think about the robins and the daffodils.

  2. I love all the “firsts”, even the worms! This year, my first walk outside to assess what work needed to be done first result in seeing trees that needed pruning. That is such a big job here. As I am away from this home for 5 months of the year, I sometimes forget those once-in-awhile chores. Now I need to contact a new arborist for the first time in about 5 years.

    1. Are you back in Wisconsin? Is that the home that needs an arborist? I was noticing that some of our big maples could use a little pruning again, too. It’s probably been 10 years since we last had it done. The guy who helps us with the heaviest yard work prunes the smaller trees and bushes as needed, but we bring in an arborist occasionally for the century-year-old maples. Another first sign of spring is the beginning of more outside work. That’s both good and bad. I love planting a little garden in our raised bed. I don’t like weeding all the flower beds around the house, and I don’t like mulching the rose beds. Last year I started sharing those jobs with our landscaping guy!

      1. I am still in Washington until April 18. I will have lots to do there when I get there, but right now I am trying to get everything here ready to leave for 5 months. It’s getting more difficult to keep up two places.

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