Sunday, May 1, 2011

Missing Spring

I have been attuned to nature for as long as I can remember, a fact that is easy to forget until I delve back in my memory to my younger years. I realize then that even as a very young child I was keenly aware of things in the natural world that many people either don't notice or simply take for granted. To me these things were, and still are, awe-inspiring.

In ancient times people lived in, and off of, the land. Because of this, they knew it well - its plants and animals, its rocks and waters, its days and seasons. For most of us much of this intimate, ancient knowledge of our planet has been lost. Although much scientific knowledge has been gained, the day-to-day living in sync with the rhythms of the earth simply is not the same as it once was. Human activities, structures, and technologies have insulated us from the outside world and led us to believe that we can exist without it. We could not be more wrong.

In going through some old papers the other day, I came across some writing I did while attending college in Montana. Once again, I was made aware of how observant and interested I was in nature. Montana winters can be long and cold. My older sister, who still lives there, and I visit by phone each week and she tells me they are still getting weekly snow storms. How well I remember! The paper I found described my yearning for, and realization of, spring after one of those long winters:

"It seemed as if I had been watching that tree for ages. There it stood across the alley, halfway hidden by the lilac hedge. It seemed as if spring would never come. I knew the signs - the first tiny brownish buds that turned a yellow-green, then burst open in a flash of bright green. To me, this was spring: the light green fringe on the edges of trees, the fresh smell of damp earth, a burgeoning of life itself. How I longed to catch it, to be able to actually capture nature in the very instant it burst forth in green. But every year it escaped me; I'd watch and watch for that first flash, then one day it would just be there without my even knowing it. Like the day I looked at that tree and it was suddenly dressed for spring. I thought that I had watched it carefully, but still I had missed it - again."

These days I do not miss spring, for I know that it creeps in slowly - gently and quietly - and I am more than ready for it. I have had many years of busy-ness, distractions, and divided loyalties as to how my time is spent. But I have also always known how important our natural world is and therefore have always made time for connecting with it. It is part of who I am. And I believe that it is part of who we all are. Please don't miss it!


  1. Yes, spring has come slowly here, but I think it's finally arrived. Beautiful photos, as usual!

  2. beautiful post! it flows...like prose!
    i think as we get a little older...as time goes on...we know what will inevitably come...we know that winter will end...spring will follow...today is now...we learn to enjoy the now...have more patience and tolerance. well, at least we TRY! :]

    LOVE your pictures...especially the new header photo! wow!!

    ((by the way...my latest post didn't make it into google reader AGAIN! OR any other FEED! so go visit me when u get a chance...suwannee river post!)) seeya!

  3. THANKS, Sherrie & Laura, for your thoughtful comments. Yes, Laura, as we get "older" we do know more of what will come with the seasons and, if we're so lucky, we do gain some patience & tolerence and a sense of the here and now...for that is all we REALLY have, isn't it? And so we best make the very most of the here and now. LOVE both your blogs, so am headed over to visit BOTH of them right now! stay tuned......