Skip to main content
Voices of ACES Blog

Finding Spring Miracles at the Arboretum

Purple crocus emerging from dead leaves

Students and faculty may have just returned from spring break, but it feels like it’s taking forever for spring to show its shiny green face this year. Looking back in my phone, I find photos of fully leafed-out trees and fat, unfurling hosta leaves by early April in recent years. This year, buds are still in winter-mode: small and clenched, as if they’re hunkered down for a storm.

Maybe that’s why the recent discovery of a vibrant patch of crocuses felt like a minor miracle. During a trip to the U of I arboretum this weekend, my toddler wandered off the path and found them poking through a mat of rotting leaves. They were almost lit from within, beaming their purple glow into my son’s curious face. I managed to keep him from picking them, called my daughter over, and joined them down near the ground to stare at the little cluster of perfection.

Soon, the cherry blossom lane winding toward the Japan House will be a riot of pink and we’ll take for granted all the colors and scents of spring. For now, though, I’ll cherish every glimpse I get.