May 11, 2014
Spring in the mountain foothills.
Outside my study window today snow is falling.
Yesterday was a sun-filled day so warm that I spent a peaceful afternoon hour sitting outside on the porch, watching the world.
A pair of Canada geese proudly paraded three tiny goslings down the walk enjoying a family trip to the lake. There was a visual feast of green in bushes and trees, new leaves unfolding in silent epiphanies. The salvia shaped a purple ribbon of early bloom along the walk. Annie, taking advantage of the sun and the quiet, provided companionship for me and a comfortable pre-summer nap on the glider for herself.
Around us the weather triumphantly (and deceptively) trumpeted “Spring has come!! The winter has safely passed!!” With this song of the Sirens in my ears, I was sorely tempted to set out the young plants that had been delivered Thursday.
This morning these tiny plants are glad (and so am I) that I resisted yesterday’s seductive warmth and limited my gardening impulses. Rather than planting, I removed them from their packaging and heeled each fragile green portion of life into a temporary container of soil that I left undercover in the garage. The one daisy that I did transplant is safely sheltered outside by an old bucket that I up-ended over its head. On this snowy morning, all of us here are warm and well.
Annie, characteristically, has gone to ground in her “cave” under the bed and is fast asleep. So much, in her opinion, for spring. Yet as I savor my coffee and watch the snow, I sense with joy that spring indeed has come.
At a level of knowing that lies beyond measurable data, I know that it is true that spring has come. I also know, however, it is not true that in consequence all winter has passed away. Here in the foothills, experienced gardeners welcome spring cautiously; we’ve experienced her capricious promises before.
Outside my kitchen window, the blooms on the old lilac bend under their burden of snow. But I understand that what I see is not tragedy. What I see is the tension of emerging life, change within uncomfortable boundaries, the context of the deep resistless power that underlies the turn of seasons and marks the limits of life.
This old lilac has carried snow in other springs, and bows in beauty to this task today. This spring--this snow.
Thinking with you that humility includes the wisdom to bend with the seasons of life knowing that all is well—that all will be well—that all manner of things will be well.**
See you next week.
**Julian of Norwich