The long winter [seemingly endless autumn in much of Europe] of 2013-14 has yielded to spring. As if to shatter any lingering doubts about the seasonal regime change that has now taken place, the booming cannon of a thunderstorm reverberated across the now colorful landscape earlier today.

Spring comes bearing two powerful messages. Through its remarkable transition, sometimes in the face of fierce Arctic counterattacks from retreating winter, it speaks eloquently of renewal and resilience.

Over the past few weeks, waves of color have rolled across the formerly drab landscape. Crocuses led the way, providing bursts of orange, white, and purple. Daffodils in yellows, whites, and oranges quickly followed spring’s advance guard. Tulips of pure white, soothing pink, and romantic red, among others have now taken their place in the limelight of spring’s lengthening days.

Up above, the once naked limbs of trees have budded then blossomed in their own orderly progression. Act I featured Saucer and Star Magnolias. Act II featured Weeping Cherry and Yoshino Cherry blossoms. Act III, which is unfolding, is all about the Flowering Dogwoods. In the background are the blooming shade trees, including towering maples and oaks.

One can also hear the buzz of the honey bee. The chorus of a growing multitude of songbirds grows louder by the day. Turtles are already sunning themselves on rocks alongside water bodies, perhaps offering a prophecy of scenes to come at the local beaches.

Welcome and beautiful as those changes might be, all those stars of spring are actually the warm-up act for spring’s main event: new arrivals. Birds are steadily building nests. Others are warming eggs. It won’t be long before the babies arrive. When they do, they will be as fragile as they are precious. They are the beautiful faces of nature’s renewal.

Following their birth, they will face much danger. The risk that confronts them will be off the scales that one finds in Moody’s or S&P’s ratings. They will need to navigate the mortal perils of accidents and predators, both day and night. However, Spring’s early battles with winter provide a cause for optimism.

This year, some of the coldest late-season air masses in decades attacked spring’s early growth. In mid-April, a late-season snowfall tried to snuff out the crocuses, daffodils, and small number of tulips that had been blooming or were nearing bloom. In the wake of the snowstorm, one was presented by the sad spectacle of the flowers bent hard to the ground by the weight of the snow. In the sharp teeth of an icy North wind, all seemed lost as far as spring was concerned.

But it wasn’t. Even hours later, the warming sun breathed life back into the seemingly decimated flowers. Days later, they bloomed anew with even greater vigor than before. Without one's experienced the storm, one would never have known the magnitude of challenge the flowers had just overcome. Their recovery provides a heroic account of resilience.

It was similar resilience that allowed the Monarchs and hummingbirds to make their enormously lengthy journey last fall. It will be similar resilience that will allow newborn creatures of all kinds to grow to maturity as the next generation of their species.

Spring truly is a season of renewal and resilience.