Happy Vernal Equinox! Even though according to the flowers and trees here, spring sprang weeks ago, today we official usher in the Spring (and google celebrates spring-inspired designer marimekko).
I am captivated by the etherial pale pink blossom of the cherry trees, the electric green of tiny leaves, the shock of yellow forsythia bushes and the diminutive wildflowers. It’s so tempting to hit another trail…. or travel even further afield.
I just finished reading, Holding On by Jo Gambi, that chronicles their climb of the 7 highest summits on each continent. It’s the story of a husband and wife team who set off on an insane adventure, all while Rob is in remission from cancer. The book is more realistic about many of the challenges to mountaineering and living “life on the road,” than other mountaineering books I’ve read. Still the traveling and exploration, pushing yourself mentally and physically, and seeing the (literal) top of the continents has such appeal. Unfortunately, we’re not in a position to quit our jobs and travel, but we do need to plan some spring and summer holidays!
Thankfully, right now I want to stay right here in the beauty of spring.
Such Singing in the Wild Branches
It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves—
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness—
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree—
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing—
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky— all, all of them
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
— Mary Oliver, “Such Singing in the Wild Branches”
Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays