“Springtime’s coming,” he said. “Cannot tha’ smell it?”

Mary sniffed and thought she could.

“I smell something nice and fresh and damp,” she said.

“That’s th’ good rich earth,” he answered, digging away. “It’s in a good humor makin’ ready to grow things. It’s glad when plantin’ time comes. It’s dull in th’ winter when it’s got nowt to do. In th’ flower gardens out there things will be stirrin’ down below in th’ dark. Th’ sun’s warmin’ ’em. you’ll see bits o’ green spikes stickin’ out o’ th’ black earth after a bit . . . . Crocuses an’ snowdrops an’ daffydowndillys.”

~ Frances Hodgson Burnett (from The Secret Garden, one of my all-time favorite children’s books)