April 2022 - Spring Pastures
It's Spring. Full-blown, gleeful Spring. I've found a field today, off of a little trail that has been the site of many a pleasant walk. I've no idea who the property belongs to, and I'm not entirely sure if I'm supposed to be here or not, but here I am, nestled in a clover patch, delighting in the reassuring excitement of a friendly, familiar sun.
... April, dressed in all his trim,/Hath put a spirit of youth in everything.
- Shakespeare, Sonnet 98
There are few delights comparable to laying in an un-mown field of spring grass. No stalk is grown enough to be prickly or uncomfortable, and the tiniest of flowers are hiding beneath the Johnson grass and clover. There are wild strawberries, and violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea), and the first of the dovesfoot cranesbill (Geranium molle), and two dainty Venus looking glass stems (Triodanis perfoliata). And the world looks so wide and different from this grassy vantage, I imagine this is how the little rabbit I passed on my way here might look at this field. Isn't it odd how we tend to love the idea that we have the ability to see the world the way birds do, yet we rarely stop to look at it the way squirrels and rabbits do. Don't you think their view is quite lovely too?
Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
- Gustav Mahler
While on the topic of quotidian joys, I must stop and praise the lovely experience of writing with a pencil. My pen fell out of my hair as I biked here, no doubt I'll find it on the path when I ride back, but until then I'm using the pencil that I found in the depths of my purse to write this, and am remembering how pleasing it is to write with a pencil, and feel lead instead of metal move smoothly across a page. A honeysuckle (Lonicera x bella) is blooming across the field. It's a cloud of white and yellow blossoms, with slender trumpet throats and that unmatchable scent they simply can't contain, it must leap out of those trumpets and flood the air with fragrance. And in the very middle of this field blooms a single, shockingly yellow ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris). I'm tempted to pick it, yet it stands so tall and proud I think I should leave it be. Oh and the cornflowers! (Centaurea cyanus) What a color! Of all blue flowers, they must be the truest blue, like late afternoon skies without a cloud in sight, the color of an indigo bunting when the light hits the feathers just so.
Tiny green aphids crawl across my page and onto the magenta bud of a vetch flower (Vicia americana). I love it when the vetch begins to bloom. Though I hear the sounds of heavy equipment nearby as work proceeds on a new highway that I fear will cut far too close to this wild haven, the sound of the wind in the trees is louder, and the chatter of birds and squabble of squirrels is nearer, and I am grateful this haven exists. The mundane and the spectacular of creation thrive together in this thoughtful spot, awaiting marvelers. What a perfect gift is spring.
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