Mary Ellen Durbin

Illinois Spring

What I remember
After all these many years…
Is the fitful emergence
And the sweet tender smell of Spring in Illinois.

In early March,
Small islands of snow
Recede as life begins to poke through
And I do not ask what for.

Early on those March mornings
I dream of flowers and sun.
Upon waking up, I groan.

In mid March
Wind disturbs the chimes outside my window
With an overture to Spring
Unveiling momentary music.

And I can hear the wind
Sighing deeply within the trees,
With a morning offering.

In late March
Cold in the morning
Warming in the afternoon…or maybe not…
The fits and starts of an Illinois Spring.

On March 20
I hear a bird sing
As the night shadows recede,
The first day of Spring.

Daffodils and tulips pop
Through the dry brown earth.

Quietly it comes,
That first soft breath of warm air
Stirring Earth to life.

On April 1, I saw a robin
Pulling a worm from the earth
What is pulling at my soul?

Some sunny morning
You might stroll the Riverwalk
And sense noble Spring.

Before you know it,
There!! Yellow forsythias
Along your gray fence.

In the midst of an Illinois Spring
We sense our days are numbered
Cherish the season.

Mary Ellen Durbin has spent more than 35 years in Du Page County working with and on behalf of people living in poverty. In 1989, she and her husband, Ron, founded Daybreak of Lisle, transitional housing for families who are homeless. That volunteer program now provides seven apartments serving families in need. Her career included serving as the Community Services for Catholic Charities, and she retired in 2010, after 15 years as the executive director of People’s Resource Center. She continues to tutor immigrants for citizenship and mentor families in transitional housing. She has 3 children and 13 grandchildren

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