I noticed this morning, on this chilly and gray first day of 2014, that my primroses are blooming. As I was slowly taking down the wreath and the greens decorating the back deck, it cheered me from my task to see the flowers bravely blooming.
I do not much like the cold, dark days of winter. The older I grow the less I like the sullen skies and the damp cold that seems to settle in my bones. The thought of spring and flowers and warm breezes makes me happy.
I look forward to seeing the blooms from all the bulbs I planted last fall. The bright colors will make the rainy days and gloom of late winter and early spring in the Pacific Northwest bearable.
Such Singing in the Wild Branches
It was spring
and I finally 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 perfect blue sky–––all of them
And, of course, 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 always cheers me, too. I hope this first day of 2014 is a happy one for you. I hope the promise of spring lifts your heart as it does mine.
Happy New Year.