“The spring is here—the delicate-footed May,
With its slight fingers full of leaves and flowers,
And with it comes a thirst to be away,
In loveliest scenes to pass these sweeter hours.”
With the spring we come to the most charming chapter of the year. The variegated flowers are the inscriptions. If we look at the pages of this chapter, they make such a pleasant impression on the mind that it seems we possess a treasure of which we ought to be more proud than the so-called riches.
It would be a sin, therefore, not to go out in the country at the advent of spring and enjoy this treasure. We should expose our minds to the beautiful landscape like the plate of the camera so that a deep impression he made which cannot be easily obliterated by the murky atmosphere of the towns we live in. A vision of the spring world during a ramble would give us “a scroll of continuous wayside pictures, imbued with the prevailing sentiment of the season, the weather and the landscape,” which we could unfold whenever we like and enjoy at our leisure.
A ramble is always better in the spring season than a well-planned travel. In a ramble, one does not surrender one’s will. He may go wherever his eyes may lead him to and gratify every whim and fancy of his. He possesses a freedom which makes him understand the true joy of life, more so when he finds the whole of Nature full of life and the earth waking from its long sleep. At such a time one should behave like a child frisking about from place to place, wild with joy and plucking flowers, and fruits to one’s heart’s content. In spring there is so much of joy that one gets intoxicated as one drinks them in, and forgets the cares and worries of the world.
The fragrance of the roses and jessamine wafted by the gentle breeze, the fluttering of the gauzy wings of butterflies clad in holiday costumes, the chirping of the birds in the in groves forming a natural orchestra by blending their sweet notes, the infant blossoms on the boughs of fruit trees in the variegated colours of the rainbow and the deep ending verdure over the earth with glossy pearls scattered all over seem to transport us into a different world altogether. We seem to imbibe health from the very atmosphere and freshness of murmuring streams and the genial showers. With that newly-born time, we feel a throbbing of the heart attuned to the trembling leaves. As Thoreau puts it, “it is a natural insurrection, an experience of immortality.”
What makes a ramble in spring’time precious is not only the pleasant sensation or the indelible impression it makes on the mind, but the hope that it brings to us. There is something in the softness of the air and the sounds and odors filling the atmosphere that brings a consolation, and feelings of holy reverence. As Stevenson says, a ramble like this is a pilgrimage. We feel that we are face to face with the Divine Power, as we behold “The annual miracle of the blossoming” and realise the Holy Spirit pervading the whole atmosphere.
“It is the season now to go
About the country high and low,
among the lilacs hand in hand,
And two hy two in fairy-land.”