The temperature lowered, the clouds lowered, the precipitation began…then the gray. Lower and lower came that crazy gray infinite, reducing my vision…that enveloping grayness, proving how limited is our human sense of sight. Grayed out–sense of sight, sense of balance, even sense of gravity…dissolving…bit by bit…
…then the snow. I have carried a dream, maybe just a memory for decades, more than fifty years–strangely vivid–I was told to count backwards from 10 and inhale slowly and deeply–it was a black mask over my nose and mouth and it was ether that I inhaled–I saw the gray background turn darker to almost black and gradually it became filled with white dots–soft white dots–like snowflakes not quite in focus–that is the dream and each time it returns, it has a comforting subtitle–this is how death will come, quietly like a snowfall beginning.
Oh, but this is just a late spring snowfall–it’s not death–it’s not the return of winter…but, oh, for the briefest of moments, it was strangely exciting to feel, but inevitably, not sustainable.
…and then the big time flowers begin their parade…
…voluptuous tease…since the new year, Viburnum bodnantense, despite its naked stems, had teased me with its winter flowers and their fragrance. Then finally with the correct combination of warmth and sun, its leaves began to show…and the closer I looked, the more the foliage detail entranced me…voluptuous?
What is the energy flowing through its leaf veins…oh, we have names for it…we call it blood in humans…we call it xylem and phloem in plants…but what is it really?
…the cows are out…but, it is always the apple tree–I pause–I look–I inhale…apple blossoms, so fleeting, so delightful in color and fragrance.
Then fruit–off the tree, taken by stealth, enjoyed to the fullest–oh those joys of youth…of anytime. And Johnny Appleseed–share the fruit, share the beauty, share the health. Look at that tree–walk over to it…
Meanwhile down in the valley–Primula vulgaris. Vulgaris? Common, it may be, but vulgar!?
Look at it!!!
This is every Easter Sunday of my childhood…and that is childlike happiness–tender spring green grass–soft pastel yellows, pinks, lavenders–and the air is just as full of childlike happiness–every breath brings carefree rejuvenation.
In that moment…I know not…I care not…I am…all is right. Spring.
But I walked and I looked… …finally under those lower forests on a clearing, on a brookside, I found one, then again and again, I found others–all shouting at me with the cheerfulness of spring yellow in the wild. Primula vera–the truth?
Under the naked beech tree canopies, through a deep bed of last year’s beech leaves, emerges Hepatica nobilis–noble indeed. I know that this harbinger of Spring is never wrong. My eyes drink its beauty, its promise.
The snow shrinks back, it creeps uphill leaving behind a wet death–soaked yellow and brown grasses which had long before succumbed to winter’s cold grip.
But winter tries to make a comeback. The snow descends, lower and lower–winter tries vainly to re-establish its deathly grip…but I wonder, is it death, or is it purity? When about winter, how can the deaths of so many plants be so beautiful to behold when covered in white?