Spring is here!!!
I can hardly contain my excitement. While I’ve grown to appreciate all of the seasons, I can’t resist picking my favorite – yes, it’s SPRING!!! Perhaps it’s my fondness of tiny fluffy bunnies and chicks, or early spring bloomers like tulips, crocuses and bloodroot, or maybe that my birthday is in spring. In a rare moment, the vernal equinox arrives on the prairie with unusually warm temps and sunshine.
I start this special day with my morning ritual of coffee and quiet on my back porch. Geese fly overhead, pairs of cardinals are joined in song by a few brave robins, who’ve returned to their summer home in my back yard. The connections to the natural flow of energy awaken in me, after the much-needed slow pace of winter. The equinox, where the hours of dark and light share equal time, is a place of magic. In this fresh light, I find myself connected to something so deep and comforting that everyday tasks – cooking, walking the dogs, prepping the garden, bring me joy. I read a fragment of a poem by David Whyte “the way that everything unbeknownst to us is preparing to meet us…”, and I am filled with a sense of peace and connectedness, despite my inability to know what comes next. Our human lives are full of contrasts – beauty and joy, ugliness and pain, framing each other, outlining the edges of our experience. There is much wonder in our ordinary everyday lives, if we stop to create space for it.
This year, as part of my spring ritual, I walk to my favorite tree – an enormous and stately cottonwood. It is a relic from the farmland that is now my neighborhood. I have an attachment to this giant, and often visit it, laying on the ground, and looking up through its expansiveness. It makes me feel connected to the earth, and the energy that flows through all things. Sometimes I find the distinctive pattern at the core of fallen branches, that make me think that my cottonwood friend is made of stars. As I rest quietly, I notice that several branches lay beside the base of the tree, and that they are filled with buds and their unmistakable scent. The cottonwood bud is kind of like a holy grail for an herbalist, as they are nearly always unreachable, far above the ground. I accept the gift that has been offered, and offer my thanks in return.
Many cultures and traditions celebrate the arrival of spring. I believe that it reminds us of our part in a much bigger world. May you spend time with your favorite tree, and be reminded of the magic that is all around us.