Our feet are now firmly set on the long slow journey of the unfolding year.
As with any journey, there may be set backs from time to time. Yet the journey continues. Our journey may take us to unanticipated stops along the way, and progress may be a bit slower than we wish; but the path still lies before us.
Yesterday’s snow, blowing in from the west, proved a set back for our journey towards spring.
The intensely cold air, blowing down from the north, brought us record low morning temperatures across the Eastern half of the United States.
It was 17 here this morning at 4:30, but I’m so grateful for that bit of warmth. Our neighbors to the north, around the Great Lakes, had a far colder morning when the sun finally rose.
Yesterday’s snow is now hardened into ice. But that ice is quickly melting and evaporating in our morning sun.
We can find inspiration in the budding daffodils, surrounded by snow, still standing tall as they wait for their day to open. Snow melts from around their still green leaves, watering the Earth where they grow.
We find inspiration in buds on lilac and Forsythia shrubs, showing color, but waiting to unfurl their petals. Unfurl they will, one day soon. The earliest of spring’s flowers inspire me with their courage and fortitude, opening to an uncertain world.
Their timing must be correct if they are to open at the perfect time to greet the insects who must pollinate them, and for their pollinated flowers to have the opportunity to set seeds for the coming season.
I wandered around in the falling snow yesterday, finding a thin layer of frozen whiteness blanketing new spring growth like fragile veils of lace. The very energy and vitality of the emerging leaves and buds seemed to shine through these icy mantillas, laid gently across the garden.
It was clear that they would melt swiftly away, like a bridal veil, after the first kiss of sunshine.
Because spring is an inevitable force of nature. Each day subtly lengthens in our vernal journey back towards the sun.
With every passing day the sun’s rays probe more deeply into the cells of every bough, leaf, and bud.
No matter what winds may blow across the surface of our planet, spring unfolds as the Earth’s deep energy responds to the sun’s approach.
We can not let the illusion of winter distract us from knowing the growing presence of spring.
Our path is set. Followed year upon year beyond memory, our journey follows the familiar landmarks. We are pilgrims in time, following an ancient map; making inevitable progress along the path of eternal change.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
“A tree can be tempted out of its winter dormancy by a few hours of southerly sun—the readiness to believe in spring is stronger than sleep or sanity.”
“The hopeless hope is one of the early harbingers of spring, bespeaking an innocent belief that the world might right its wrongs and reverse its curses simply because the trees are coming into leaf.”