pearling forest floors
wild oats bow
palms in prayer
I have taken to the forest. If any month calls up the goddess in her wild aspect it is May when the forest floor is covered in wild flowers and bird migration is under way. Every spring I used to allow this month to be stolen by chores. With the forests disappearing so rapidly across the globe I am keenly aware that we are losing our songbirds and wild flowers too.
No one mentions the loss of these birds and ephemerals who need the complexity of natural forests to thrive – is this because no one knows that we have lost 3 billion song birds or that wildflowers are with us for such a brief moment in time?
I think of the hikers that now swarm well – known trails of stripped or partially cleared logged woods. People who know nothing about the birds singing their hearts out around them, the plants under their feet, or the saplings that struggle to live on without their kin.
If we don’t care about our forests then why pay attention to the birds and flowers that greet us each spring?
Because I care deeply about all – birds, forests, and wild flowers – I am spending all my time in the woods.
I am no longer interested in maintaining gardens, especially not one for food – our air, water and soils are polluted – ‘organic,’ an expensive consumer catchword, is relative. And I am also ready to let my cultivated flower garden go because the spikes in temperature related to climate change have made it hard to keep up with watering from a dug well, not to mention the hard flash freezes.
What interests me the most is that in my late 70’s I am closing a circle. I started my life loving birds and wild flowers fiercely, learning all the names of those I met as soon as I could talk. My first word was flower (for wild buttercups). Now I am returning to my first two loves, with, if possible, more appreciation than ever.
May is peak migration month here in Maine. Last night more than 33,000 birds migrated through this area, and this morning I heard my 2nd warbler’s song. In the forest wild flowers bloom, the very first before leaf out, the rest before the sun gets too hot and temperatures rise. By the summer solstice, wild flowers have faded; many have already set seed.
I love being present for Ephemeral Emergence and for a time I am possessed by a joy beneath words.
Just like my phoebes!
BIO: 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.