A parade of blooms and weather changes proceed along spring’s merry way. The red bud tree next door spreads pink petals like a flower girl at a wedding all over a patch of unplanted earth beneath my window. A Dawn Redwood tree shades this northwest corner of Kendal and although the resident chipmunk adores this quiet terrain, not many deliberate plantings take to the shady, acidic, clay soil around here. Almost five years ago I could still do a little gardening in that spot, but due to the lack of a hose attachment nearby and my fading strength it is now a small wild place that attracts a variety of low growing weeds. A chipmunk has dug many holes while building up a mound of dirt where he is a bit higher up to oversee his munkdom. It is close enough to the birdfeeder outside my other windows where he can safely scavenge the sunflower seeds dropped by sparrows and finches.
It is not the larger wildlife of regular bear, fox, cayote, deer, wild turkey and weasel sightings of my former home. But further away from my end of Kendal there are deer, cayote, and fox sightings. And Ponds. Lots of ponds where I spend time with frogs, turtles, and waterfowl. Spring commands attention everyday with trees filling out and floral smells providing olfactory pleasures. There are new tree species to greet in Ohio and just the sheer shades of green high and low are enough to fill me with joy, even during last week’s cold snap with snowflakes wafting among puffy dandelions gone to seed.
So much else in the larger world seems very unsettling and shaky and it is comforting to see flowers and bunnies and goslings still emerge. I don’t think I have had one conversation with a friend which hasn’t devolved to bemoaning yet another dire sign of conservative extremism in Ohio, our country, and indeed around the world. I keep saying it is a reaction to so much underlying fear of the rapid changes on the planet. Frayed political systems unable to handle these changes invoke hatred, rigidity, and violence in a desperate attempt to clamp down and control fearful people. My friends and I have to pause when we touch on the dire direction our thoughts can take us. We agree to invest in hope and not feed the fear with our own sorrow about the way things are going.
It is hard in the best of times to look beneath the surface and address underlying fear of loss. I face continuing loss of mobility and physical independence. It is my own personal cauldron bubbling with the unknown. We all have fears of losing My Life as I Know It. It is human. It is what calls us to do the digging to find a larger means of viewing and living in the world. It is a means of loving that which gives birth to flowers and bunnies and goslings and all of the suffering. Feeling separate from the ever-present consciousness that gives rise to every season- the abundance of spring into the barren revelation of winter- is the loneliest experience I know.
A verse from an old song of mine goes… “Oh, Lady Summer, I am still a child of Spring. Let me do as the swallows do- build a nest in your arms and learn to sing.”