There is no day so bad that Aaron Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring” will not make it better.
I close my eyes, and I am back east, in the Smokies. I can see the light leaves on the maples and birches budding out stark against the deep green of the pines and firs. There are dogwoods, too, just beginning to leaf and already in bud. They will burst out blooming, soon, their pale pink and white flowers presaging the blossoming of the grander wild azaleas and magnolias.
There is Greenbrier, with the barn, and the deer in the mist rising from the meadow in the early evening. And the narrow road we drove down with trees curving overhead like a canopy, where we startled the black bear. It was a tossup as to who was more frightened; he must have been — he left first.
There are the trails, forking like Robert Frost’s in “The Road Not Taken.” Each heading its own way, but unlike Frost’s, with hope of turning and returning, with the prospect of another trail diverging and another adventure just over the ridge.
I can almost smell the clean air and feel the exhilaration of springtime. Normally, spring is not my favorite season, since summer — that dreadful time of year — follows so close upon its heels. Especially in Georgia, where I lived after college, and where spring lasts all of about two weeks before the heat settles in like an omnipresent oppressive cloud. Summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is crowded, with the clean air overcome by automobile exhaust.
I am an ocean person, deep down to my core, not a mountain person, but the Smokies in springtime are glorious. It has been far too many years since I have been there, but “Appalachian Spring” makes me remember what they are like.
That can make any day a little better.