Returning home to Maine in April has allowed me to experience winter turning her ancient wisdom filled face towards the maiden of spring. Although the month has been chilly, and until two days ago snow covered tree stripped mountains still held a dusting of snow, all nature is celebrating renewal.
In the woods the maples are turning a deep rose red. Here in the yard all my fruit trees are waiting for May’s rain and the warmth of a waxing solar sun to set fragrant bursting blossoms as are the lilacs. Blood red cardinals sing love songs in my pine forest, whistling up the dawn. Wood frogs croak in the vernal pools, laying jellied egg masses, young foxes race through oak groves crackling leaves in their wake. The goose stands watch over his nesting mate at the pond, a loon does the same, haunting the sky with his song.
On this still soft cloudy morning I peer into the forest beyond the brook noting a palette of grays – – the tree people on stilts – some slender, others thick, all well rooted – the trunks of some trees like maples and beech are smooth, others like ash and white pine are deeply grooved. All are well nourished by those who have gone by. Bare branches will soon be covered in feathery lime green. Balsam, Hemlock, Spruce and Cedar scent the air with Pinenes, those powerful healing oils of the forest whose fragrant breath heals damaged lungs.
This year I am listening to the sounds of woodpeckers – Sapsuckers bring in the first hummingbirds, Pileated woodpeckers carve oval doors, Downy and Hairy perch on telephone polls pounding deadwood when I walk to the pond.
On the first day of January the first bird I heard was a woodpecker –a drumming flicker in New Mexico. The first bird sighting of the year always carries a message for me, and that day I had a vision of holes.
Something was coming… Now that this country is struggling with a pandemic that we humans have brought upon ourselves with our selfishness and disregard of non – human species – both plant and animal – we are reaping the first harvest of that which we sowed… And yet, all nature in the northern hemisphere celebrates this turning of the wheel, despite human suffering. Life goes on; and being able to participate in this process is a joy without parallel.
This year I turn towards May with reverence.
Yesterday I spent hours on my knees working in my overgrown perennial flower garden with the awareness that the position of my body revealed the depth of that reverence – I was bowed in prayer…
I feel overflowing gratitude for being alive, for being able to sit by still pools of water. I give thanks for ears to hear spring singing. I listen to the brook flowing – water rounding granite stone – just below the house. I walk through the deciduous wooded parts of this patch of land marveling over the tenaciousness of life to re –create itself out of a fallen tree stump, a rotting log. I count eight kinds of moss and lichen on Trillium rock. Emerald green sphagnum moss permeates my soul in the bog.
It is enough.
I am grateful, oh ever so grateful, to Nature for teaching me to see, to hear, to taste, to dream, to learn, to seek truth, to reflect, to feel fear, anger and heartbreak, and still to say yes to Love.
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 Maine.