This spring has felt more like a prelude to winter than summer. The trees are just now begininng to leaf and parents of children who play spring sports have learned what it feels like to be hockey parents, shivering on the sidelines in hats and gloves.

Some said they felt cheated by the shadbush this year. Its delicate white flowers came and went so quickly, amid a constant backdrop of gray skies and cold rain. But that’s the thing about nature; in a world where it seems that everything can be controlled, this mercurial mother has her own timeline and way of doing things.

Although pinkletinks and snowdrops were early, asparagus has been slow to say hello. Mayflowers provide hope in a backdrop of pink and white that the tide is turning and the beach will eventually beckon, but the birds are still padding their nests. Recently, on a rare clear day with blue skies above, a hawk flew low across a field with a large branch trailing from its talons. The branch was twice the bird’s size, and it was working hard as it headed for its nest, bringing to mind a human parent looking to comfort a chilly child with another blanket.

But in retrospect what is the rush? It may be the season of to-do lists — for sweeping out the cobwebs and turning on the water for the outdoor shower — but it can also be a moment to reflect if you let it. Take some time getting to know once again how it feels to not know what to expect. Then take off your shoes and socks and walk in bare feet across the grass. At the edge of the woods, breathe in deeply the scent of this spring, along with every other one that has come before.