This is the most beautiful spring of my life.
The flowers are bursting, the air is redolent and clean, and it is so quiet I hear birds far overhead and bees buzzing in the garden.
And, in the same moment, I feel dissonance.
Hey wait a minute, isn’t there a catastrophe afoot? Aren’t l sad and heavy. Aren’t I afraid? What about the kids?
And yet, I feel pure joy and gratitude as I look at an aeonium plurparum blooming yellow cones of splendor. (pictured below)
I am breathless as I examine the tender hanging chandeliers of a Strawberry Tree.
I am rapt when I see a hillside covered with Red Valerian and Scotch Broom and Pride of Madera, so vibrant and determined in their luster.
And then I remember, oh yeah, I am part of nature too.
I am also flowering in this spring.
I am also opening up to the air and the sky and the sun.
I am also alive and brilliant and fertile.
I am, like the flowers, exceedingly temporary: a moment, a pause in the breath of the universe.
I AM the spring. I AM nature.
I AM ONE with all of this.
I am ONE with ALL of this.
I forget again.
I read the news, I feel afraid and disconnected, my judgment arises.
At times I am hopeless, as if the floor fell out from under me, and I am, like Søren Kierkegaard, desperately treading water over 50,000 fathoms.
And then, I go for a walk and I remember, again, in this endless cycle of remembering and forgetting, of contraction and expansion, or grief and celebration.
I Am Spring.
I am on a mission to learn the names of plants and trees and flowers. I have always had a story that my brain doesn’t do that well, that I am not very taxonomically able.
There is some accuracy in this, yet the deeper and harder truth is I never really cared enough to learn.
I saw the plants and flowers as something over there, creatures apart from me like the animals in a zoo. They were not me. But this is my spring to start new stories for myself, and I am learning the names of things.
I hope you can all get out for a walk today, even in those places where spring is just beginning.
Because you are Spring too.
And we need you.
I will end with a favorite poem.
The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Bee well and enjoy the spring dear friends, and if you have a favorite plant or flower or tree to share, please write!
King Bee, Fire-Tender