Coming Home to Spring by Sara Wright


The older I become the more I appreciate Nature as she is, Nature the Creatrix of the Earth. Nature creating without human intervention. The cycles of life and death are so intimately intertwined and never more evident than in the spring when each rotting log becomes home to ants who are feasted upon by black bears (whose primary protein source 93% comes from ants, grubs and larvae). Splintered detritus becomes the rich soil that supports the seedlings of the next generation of trees, even as the ground peppers the moment with the delicate three lobed trillium, lady-slipper, twin flower, partridge berry trailing arbutus, unfurling spirals – the birthing of ferns, and perhaps my favorite, wild lily of the valley soon to fill this forested glade with her intoxicating scent.

Outside my window, diversity reins as Royalty! Maples, ash, oak, beech moose maple, witch hazel, spruce hemlock, fir, balsam converse with one another, above and below ground – their language is made of pulsing vibrations, sound and scent. The naturally fallen white birch logs crisscross each other creating complex and unique patterns apparent to any artistic eye. The brook is wending her serpentine way to the sea, her spongy banks of sphagnum moss are steeped in emerald. The translucent papery thin leaves of the beech tree ripple in the slightest breeze.

Everywhere a multitude of shades of greens – greens that I cannot name – a writer’s palette is pitifully limited to words like jade, olive, spruce, lemon, lime, emerald, sage; this language can’t come close to describing the wonder of a woodland forest coming to life. Every leaf and twig emanates a luminous glow. Evergreens bristle, their delicate fingers stretching towards the filtered light of a canopy that protects the most sensitive eyes. Sweet moist air fills thirsty lungs, the sound of light rain brings out a symphony of frogs. The brook pools mirror blue sky through lacy ferns and wild sprigs of lily of the valley that are springing up under a woodland carpet, a pine – needled floor. In the distance, rose pink, magenta, and lilac merge into a huge field bouquet. The highest grasses hide white and purple violets, star-like lupine, deep blue spires of ajuga gone wild. As I observe the snowy crabapple loose her glorious white crown I think I have never witnessed such wonder, this coming home to spring.

Working notes:

I recently returned from the high desert where I created small gardens against my adobe house, experienced the beauty of wildflowers and an abundance of sage green shoots appearing where none were before thanks to the generosity of the Cloud People. Even the hills were glazed in gray green, and one tree frog called from a nearby ditch. I was profoundly grateful to experience this year’s desert spring.

And yet, nothing prepared me for the miracle of experiencing a second spring here in the North East after a three year absence ( I returned the summer before last but missed the spring). The North Country Woman thrives under a canopy of green because her roots are here stretching deep into rich woodland soil. These deep roots are nurtured by regular rain and moisture, cool nights and a sun that is less intense. Perhaps too my Indigenous Peoples are calling me back…

I don’t know how to reconcile my love for dear friends and a thriving community in New Mexico with this felt sense of rootedness in Northern place. My body knows that she belongs here.

It’s almost as if I have had to go through a desert to find my way ‘home’ after I fled to escape harsh winters.

Here my body thrives; there I find community.

How, I ask myself, am I ever going to heal this split?

 

Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.



Categories: Activism, Earth-based spirituality, Eco-systems, environment, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General

Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 replies

  1. I feel for you, Sara. I am from the countryside in the UK but have lived in a Northern city for over 30 years. Here I find community and friendship, but my whole body yearns for the wildness of nature – what can we do?!!

    Like

  2. “It’s almost as if I have had to go through a desert to find my way ‘home’”. Synchronicity.
    It’s the Jewish holiday of Shavuot; the custom is to stay up all night to discuss Torah (which can be translated “teaching”, “law” or the five books of the Hebrew bible attributed to Moses). The reading chosen by my rabbi, from midrash (commentary) on the circuitous route described in the Exodus story was “God said: “if I take them the simple, direct way, each person will immediately take hold of their field and vineyard, and stop engaging with Torah. But if I take them by way of the desert, and they eat the manna and drink from the miraculous well, Torah will settle into their bodies.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting reading. I am intrigued by the comment about Torah settling into body…

    But I am not sure how to respond to you because for me living in the desert brought home the split – community there – my love for nature peaks here in the northeast.

    Like

    • Good point. I thought of it while I was coomposing the previous post. The Israelites were leaving one home for another, not moving back and forth between them. I think the point is that if “home” is in your body, you can be comfortable anywhere. I lived in two places while I was at university, and have recently again considered it. I’ll be interested in other comments on your post.

      Like

  4. Beautiful! I live in the Hudson Valley, which I love, but part of my soul stays in Maine and waits for me there. I also have a place in my heart for the desert. Love the information about black bears, who are my neighbors here. Will you be able to return to New Mexico in the winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is an interesting comment – you don’t experience a split – It has become apparent to me that this may be as much of an inner problem as an outer one –

      I could write so much about black bears here. I always hesitate because this is bear hating country – where folks shoot bears or worse, fatally wound them on sight. I fear that someone will find the link.

      Like

      • I experience homesickness. I always cry when I leave Maine. Maybe I don’t think of it as a split because all the places I love are part of this earth, so I am still connected. All the places I love are so vivid in my heart. It must be hard to leave congenial human community. I am sad to hear that people hate bears in Maine. It is so clear to me here that we have encroached on their habitat and we must learn to coexist. So true for so many species everywhere.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I think finding home in my body with all this shifting is my greatest challenge – you are right. I definitely am walking on air.

    Like

  6. Beautiful that photo of the waterfall at the top of the page here, thanks Sara. And so alive, so wonderful. I have come to understand the Internet as a unique environment also — not a city, not the outdoors in nature, but there is a fascinating form of life experience here, and that I love too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I guess I hold a minority opinion. I have enormous respect for Mother Nature and admire people who like to live in it, in woods, in deserts, anywhere they can see the trees and the decay of natural things that become food for wild animals or transform into new life, but I don’t want to get the outdoors on me. I’m a city girl. I grew up in a suburb of St. Louis and now live in the L.A. Basin. I made myself a succulent garden outside, below my living room window. (I like succulents because you don’t have to fuss with them.) I don’t miss St. Louis and like Long Beach. I prefer city living with theaters and museums and things like that. Urban entertainment. But hooray for people like you all who love your outdoor environments!!! Mother Nature needs people like you to take good care of her.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, Sara, how poetic! I hear and understand every word you write. I was born and raised in northern California, but my teenage and college years were spent on the east coast. Now I’m living in dry, flat and painfully hot Texas, and have been for the last 30 years. If I let myself, I would cry every day for what I am missing. The bonus in this is that my creativity and spirituality have blossomed these last 20+ years. For that I’m thankful. And I’m thankful for your beautiful words expressing my angst. Bright blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A very timely article. I just returned to Ajijic, Mexico from the gorgeous Point Roberts, Washington which is surrounded on three sides by the Puget Sound. My heart and body filled with joy and deep sustenance in Point Roberts. But I have good and supportive friends here in Ajijic. I am considering splitting my time between both locations. My increasing age and future heallth needs complicate this decision. But I am IMMENSELY privileged to have this choice at all…and I know it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sara your article spoke to me. I am living in South Carolina. I was born, grew up and matured in Wisconsin. After three years of hearing people tell me how much I must like leaving Wisconsin winters behind, I returned to Wisconsin this April for a month. A friend and I hiked favorite places in Door County. The wind off Lake Michigan and Green Bay, the small streams and brooks from the melting snow, the plants poking their leaves up through the rotted vegetation all gave me a feeling of rebirth. I ask myself can you really grasp rebirth in the spring without a winter where there is both rest and death?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that is a question for me too. I stay in Northern New Mexico where we do have a winter but it is so brief… and spring (not this year) is also brief and then you fry for months – too much for me. Traveling north made me realize how MUCH I missed out on there.

      Like

  11. Yes, I am profoundly grateful also to have this choice and I do not have money but have an unusal situation that allows me to stay in New Mexico for winters… but it’s the going and coming all across country ( I have animals and must travel by car) that make this transition so difficult… I am not sure that I can keep doing both. And I am torn – community or Nature – gosh. This either or stuff just doesn’t work for me. I am trying to be a snowbird but I also have health issues that are complicating matters.

    Like

  12. Adore this post!!!! I felt my body vibrating to every description! I know that I’m meant to be here in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri right now, but, oh my goodness, my heart aches often for Maine, the first place I ever felt truly safe and gently held in kindness and friendship. Our little 2 acres in the woods (near Sebago Lake if you know where that is?) grew majestic White Pine trees (I called them my sentinels) and delicate Pink Lady-slippers and I was always watching my husband with an eagle-eye to make sure he didn’t “clean up” the woods, only the yard, because I wanted to make sure all those insects and other critters could benefit from detritus! Blessings to you as you move between the spaces.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am with you. I am living in Central Massachusetts, and I grew up in Maine and other parts of the Northeast… and nothing else feels like my truest home, including other northern states I have lived in or visited, such as Michigan of Minnesota. Remember my post about Awen? I think that is a lot of it… some part of me resonates with the Awen here more than in most other places. But loneliness and isolation are very big problems. Five years ago, I sat in the parking lot of my birthday party and cried because I had no close friends who lived near me. They all live in other places. It took me a few years, but for the past 2 years I have had two best friends that I see at least weekly, and that is life changing. It does take work to build that web – our identity as “we”… I hope and pray you can cocreate or discover a nurturing community in the place you love so much. <3

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I sure have tried to find those folks – but here it is very hard. Unless you were born here community is not easily extended to include the other… tus I have always been an outsider. This is what drove me to go to New Mexico – there I did find a community -but so much of my heart is here.

      Like

  14. Beautifully said. How important to have a sense of place, groundedness. Ancestral ties. And people do find it in different places, sometimes surprising themselves! I pray each of us can have at least one place we resonate with in this way, so we can work to help the Earth heal and restore itself!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a beautiful description of Maine in the spring and I love that picture! I am from California but when my husband brought me here to visit I knew I belonged here and I asked him to bring me here. He wanted to return to Maine, too. He moved to Maine as a kid, but his mother was from Maine and he had lots of family here. I have found the people to be friendly, for the most part, but it took me a while to find true community here. Part of the problem was the women I worked with all had children and their lives revolved around their kids, and my late husband and I couldn’t have kids. Now I have a great community of friends, but I live near Bangor so perhaps things are different here than where you live? I really hope you can find good friends where you are now.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Sue Reynolds Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: