Today I spend several hours in peaceful solitude at my special place. Large outcroppings of granite bedrock, worn and smoothed by water and weather, overshadow the shores of a peaceful lake. In the distance is the low rumble of a small waterfall that tumbles from the lake’s outlet. The spring greenery is laced with white chokecherry blossoms and the forest floor blooms with the promise of wild blueberries.
Today I enjoy the payoff for those April rains. The mayflowers along my tree line are in full bloom. Several spring bloomers go by the common name “mayflowers.” In my childhood home we assigned this name to round-lobed hepatica. I have only a few in my yard, but they’re thick in the woods behind my parent’s house.
Today I hear what I most anticipate hearing every spring. It is my favorite daytime song and most soothing nighttime symphony. I listen to it as often as I am able, like a pop song on the radio, because I know it will only last a short season. Nothing delights me more than listening to the spring peepers. I drive with my windows down this time of year so I can hear the swell and fade of the frog song as I pass the myriad of small ponds and lakes between our home and the nearest town.
Today I spot my first robin, rather my first robins. A flock of them searches out worms in a patch of sad-looking grass exposed by the receding snow. Just across the road, in the wetlands preserve, a red-winged blackbird perches on a well-weathered cattail. I roll down the window to listen for its trilled tune but it seems momentarily preoccupied with the finer points of survival.
Today the hope of spring hangs in the air. The pussy willows, like furry grey felines peeking out from the covers, have burst open and now bask in the cozy sunlight, as felines are prone to do. The lilting trickle of melt-water breaks winter’s vow of silence. The mice venture out leaving tiny toe and tail trails on the snow rather than lumpy tunnels under it. The birds sing a lively tune, lending levity to the mourning dove’s somber song. Spring is stirring, ever so slightly. God is stirring in my heart ever so slightly, as well.
Today the unbroken snow field sparkles with brilliant sunlight. It looks like the angels were making Christmas cards and accidently spilled the white glitter. Along the tree line, the sun casts long steel-blue shadows across the white field. I sit for a while, sipping my hot chocolate and admiring the view from our patio doors. As the sun climbs higher, the shadows slink slowly and quietly away. I can’t sit here all day, but I know they will only venture out again when the sun begins to sink.
Today I stop and watch the river running through our yard, a dark ribbon lying on a silky white sheet. Don’t be overly impressed here. It’s really only a creek (someone more athletically-inclined could jump across it) but it is called the north branch of a river. No matter how cold it gets, that little river never freezes over. It just keeps moving steadily along its course. When boulders and branches clutter the way, it alters its course to follow the path of least resistance, determined to reach its final destination. That river refuses to be stopped. Continue reading Like a River
.Today when I take the chickens their daily rations, my big Brahma hen tries to lead a prison bust, making a break for the door with half the flock at her heels. I dutifully block the doorway. A stiff north wind rushes down through the pine grove and across the small pasture (if you can call the unique blend of weeds growing out there pasture). The snow isn’t exactly “falling.” It’s racing horizontally across the barnyard, endlessly restless. Continue reading Chicken Run