Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lingering in May's Bliss

I've had the singular privilege to travel well over a thousand miles this always special month of mid-Spring, mostly by car, with a memorable two days aboard a Greyhound bus that took me from Cleveland to Nashville and back again five days later. All along the way through the car's windshield and bus window I had a wonderful view of Spring's sweet urgency moving in its transformative magic over the landscape. Though I heartily enjoy the ongoing dance of all four seasons, it's this time of year I most treasure. Nature's ecstatic renewal and effervescent  energies make my body and spirit sing.

What marvelous delight as winter-tight buds of trees and shrubs burst into multi-hued shades of glimmering greens, gauzy golds, and the vibrant splash of the maples' tiny mahogany-red flowers. Tree-top veils of the most amazing pastel colors grace the hills. There's a moment every Spring, usually when I'm driving along a country road mesmerized by this jeweled glory, that Robert Frost's lines leap to mind: "Nature's first green is gold / her hardest hue to hold / her early leaf's a flower / but only so an hour" Many reading this know S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders (or have seen the movie), so now you are saying the final line, "Nothing gold can stay". And so often this is true with early Spring's subtle and lovely presence (presents!) quickly disappearing into Summer's warm days. Knowing this is so, I often wish to stand still and drink it all in for as long as I can.

Ah, but this year has proved an unlooked-for exception! April and May's seemingly endless cool and rainy weather brought a gift, even if we've groused about still needing our jackets too many days. The consequence of Spring's slowed pace has stretched this special time well-beyond its brief stay to nearly three weeks, a luxury of sight and scent that included the blooms of shad bush, wild cherry, and forsythia. And adding the perfect grace note to this lingering bliss, a Woods thrush arrived over a week ago in the woods here on my hill and has been offering up its enchanting flute-like song day after day.

Working on my summer tan can wait.......