Sunday, April 15, 2018

‘we need to be disillusioned’

Baseball and blizzards. A sure sign of spring.


Then there’s the tulip poking up like a groundhog’s snout in a sheltered, sunny spot. Beheaded by a deer. A shaggy, winter-hungry deer.

Signs of spring used to be forsythia in bloom. Sweet-smelling, yellow-soaked. And daffodils and tulips, green lawns, unfurling trees, jackets flung aside, birdsong, feet itching to go bare.

Four hundred miles north no matter the number of years, I must remind myself it might be summer before spring even gets mentioned as having passed by unnoticed.

No fairy tale spring here. No sir.


Of course soon, come May or June, it is likely we will notice wheels spinning in mud, bodies dotted with ticks, our veil of black flies. There’s your spring. Steadfast, predictable. Provides continuity.


And one day the trees will bud and the horizon rich with color, about to burst, held momentarily, a long pause, the conductor raising her arms, musicians poised and posed, bows held a breath above string and breaths ready to blow; ready, ready, quiet, please, and the peepers begin softly peeping and yellow spikes of maple flowers. Underfoot trout lilies and Dutchman breeches gently pushing aside heavy mats of fall, the slush of winter, soft, and a slow pace developing, patience unfolding, and the river already rising with snow, flowing strong, surging, moving along, and Josie continues to run across hard-set snow, a desiccated landscape, barren trees advertising nest, abandoned. Open, wide open. And Josie reels with the alarm and promise of hidden spring.


A cold wind blows.

I read “Dakota: A Spiritual Geography” by Kathleen Norris. It feels instructive, somewhat mesmerizing, hypnotic, engulfing, desolate and full. I feel I understand it, this: For some, the less there is, the more there is. Even though that must be learned.