Sunday, March 1, 2015

Guest Post: Susie Troccolo

This week I'm featuring an essay by my online friend, gardener and talented author Susan Troccolo. I have a feeling you'll be able to relate to her words. 

Spring on Wings

When you think of spring, what pops up? Daffodils, crocus, cherry blossoms? Me. too. But there is something else. Something equally joyful but insistent in the way a flower is not. It is the chorus of robins that start in around 5:30 to 6:00 am, singing with such gay abandon that it is practically impossible to stay in bed. It revs me up. Sometimes this is great, sometimes not so much.

The early-bird song of the American Robin is often the first to tell us that spring is finally coming.

Though it is still dark and cold at that hour, spring has flipped a switch in their downy red breasts and they want to announce it to the world. But this celebrated symbol of spring has a mixed effect on my psyche. Yes, I'm thrilled by all that optimistic trilling in coloratura, but it also starts my heart thumping like crazy.

Quick, my body says: up and at 'em, feather your nest, plant those seeds, till that ground, for Pete's sake, get moving! Even though here in Portland we have several months of waiting for dry and friable ground in order to work the soil. What I really need to do is calm down and pace myself. Maybe putter in the greenhouse.

I don't know about you, but the pure raw energy of spring can work me into a frenzy. I guess it tweaks my desire for garden accomplishment into overdrive. Yes, you garden overachievers, you know what I'm talking about. 

Susan Troccolo is the author of Growing Down Stories, personal essays of living life with humor and grace. Among Susan's many talents, she's a volunteer, a gardener and a writing instructor. She is working on her second book and lives in Portland, Oregon with her border collie and husband of thirty-five years. You can learn more about Susie by visiting her website.  

Do you hear spring's early morning robin song?


  1. I've seen a few robins hoping around here but they must have left in utter disgust for all points west after not being able to crack the surface of my frozen garden. But we did have an unusually warm day a few weeks back and the birdsong was spectacular. All those trills and chirps translate into the internal thrumming you describe and I headed outside to do something, anything in the garden.

  2. Beautiful thoughts Susan! I've seen a few Robins already and look forward to that surge of spirit early Spring always if you are suddenly inspired by the rebirth of Nature in all it's glory. Our swallows should be returning soon to redo the dirt nest on the front porch and make a mess...but I love when I see the babies peeking over the sides goes on in so many beautiful ways. Thanks for sharing Grace.

  3. Wow! That's an old Border Collie!

    "...lives in Portland, Oregon with her border collie and husband of thirty-five years."

    Gave me a chuckle. Thanks.

    Enjoyed your post. I am always amazed at how early the robins show up. My husband swore that those robins in our garden overwintered. It seemed as if they were only gone for a month or two.

  4. Ha Ha, I LOVE these comments! To Tammy...yes, that internal get it completely. In the Spring, it really drives us doesn't it? To Anna Maria, thank you so much for your lovely words!

    And to the gal that pointed out my "old" Border Collie, what a crack-up. I may have to re-visit my sentence structure-:)) Maybe just adding a "her" husband, etc. would clear things up! How I love it when people point these things out.

  5. I am in serious withdrawal and need to hear the robin's song....and I will definitely be overdoing it this spring....but I am OK with that after this winter.

  6. You have EVERY right to overdo it this spring Donna, it's been historic. Let's hope the robins come back in full force and full throat!


I LOVE your comments! Thank you so much for being here.