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Lacey Middlestead

New blades stretch their green arms up through the soil to embrace the light. Spring is a time of new birth.
Flower petals uncurl from the confines of their cozy buds in relishing the warmer weather. Spring is a time for renewal and second chances.

In the early morning hours before the sun has even graced the land with its presence, the birds begin their symphony of chirps. 

The shift from winter to spring occurs in much the same way that John Green described falling in love in The Fault in Our Stars. He wrote that you fall in love in the same way you fall asleep:  “slowly, and then all at once.” The same is true for the arrival of spring. One day you’re sighing looking out the window at the stubborn snow piles still remaining in your front yard. And before you know it, you’re mowing your lawn and clipping lilac branches to place in a vase on your kitchen table. 

At this same time last year, my husband and I were busy getting settled in our very first house together. With our house being a new build in a developing subdivision, we were responsible to all of the landscaping. Which, it turns out, is a seemingly endless array of manual labor projects. I remember arguing with my husband one day over the topic of seed versus sod for our lawn. I, of course, wanted an instantaneous lush green lawn to come home to. But my husband favored the virtue of patience and growing our own healthy lawn. He eventually convinced me on the latter option. 
A few weeks later, after prepping our lot and installing sprinklers, Nitro Green came and seeded our lawn. And then the waiting game began. Days passed and we watched our neighbors install sod across the street. I must admit I was terribly jealous that they had that instantaneous grass I had wanted in the beginning. 

I remember coming home from work when evening and, after parking my car out in front of the garage, I slung my purse over my shoulder and began walking towards the front door. But then something wonderful snagged my attention. It was the most subtle of changes in our home’s appearance….but the one I’d been waiting on for weeks. It was a small cluster of emerald green grass blades poking up from the dirt. I started yelling at my husband to come look as I dropped to the grown flat on my stomach to inspect our tiny miracle. It was only a handful of grass blades but I knew right then and there that it was the start of something far more glorious and beautiful. And I realized that the waiting had absolutely been worth it. 

Over the next several weeks, we watched more and more clumps of green pop up where before there was only shades of brown dirt. It was only grass but I took great satisfaction and pride in watching it grow. I can only imagine how much more pride a farmer takes in watching his crops mature before his eyes each year.
Now that the second spring in our home has arrived, many of the neighbors who moved in after us are busy readying their lots for landscaping. Rocks are being raked up and removed. Mounds of dirt and tractors are being hauled in to level the ground out. Newly installed sprinkler systems are being tested. I know all too well that their work is only beginning but I am excited for the fruits of their labor to soon show. 

A couple of weeks ago, our new riding lawn mower arrived. And ever since, my husband has been dutifully attending to mowing our lawn each week. With each spring rain shower and trim with the mower, our lawn has grown fuller and greener each week. It’s the one thing we can both come home each day and look at with admiration knowing that with time, patience, and a little nurturing, only beautiful creations will be harvested. 

Our major project this summer will be installing all of our plants and trees throughout the yard. While I’m not thrilled at the idea of more manual labor in the dirt, I know now how great the rewards will be at the end. And for me, all of the flowers, bushes, and trees will be like the sprinkles and fondant flowers that adorn a colorfully frosted cake. They will be the finishing touches that will make our yard and our house feel even more like the home of our dreams.  


LaceyLacey Middlestead is a Montana native and freelance writer currently living in Helena, Mont. She loves meeting new people and helping share their stories. When she’s not busy writing articles for newspapers like the Independent Record and Helena Vigilante, she can usually be found indulging in her second greatest passion–playing in the Montana wilderness. She loves skiing and snowmobiling in the winter and four wheeling, hiking, boating, and riding dirt bikes in the summer.