Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Fulness of Spring

Thursday night, after a beautiful and warm spring day, I sat on the slope of the yard in that twilight zone just before dark and silently waited for the full moon to float out from behind the hill and climb that lone fir that stretches up so tall it almost scrapes the sky and that the moon barely escapes getting caught in before it rises over the valley. The world is so ugly the past two weeks, it can hardly be borne. And then a beautiful spring week. And then the full moon.

My mother is in her 52nd spring at her home in the
woods on the side of the hill. She knows where all the random trillium will come up, if not when to watch for it. I’m sure she once knew not to start the vigil many weeks too early, but when you are waiting for your 97th spring and don’t know how many are left you might get just a little impatient, too. We all want one more spring.

News came this week that a young couple at my church in Raleigh were victims of violence. The 29 year old woman died the next day. Even when you are only 29 you don’t know how many springs are left. Probably we should all be a little impatient and stop putting off whatever we dream about. If you want to sit on the grass and wait for the moonrise, you should do it.

In a rare display of asking for what she wants, Mama asked my daughter and daughter-in-law to take her for a walk in the woods when they were visiting last weekend. She wanted to visit the trillium and see if the toothwort was blooming.

I walked through the woods this week, too; something I haven’t done enough since my return to my childhood home. As is often the case, Mama inspired me not to wait, or spring will end without having seen it. The toothwort is blooming, the trillium is dying. The white trillium turns pale pink and then deep rose as it leaves us. (Just as an aside, I watched an interview with Raquel Welsh that afternoon; she isn’t fading as she ages, either.)

While I have vivid memories of young childhood at our home by the bay in Olympia, my little sister’s playground was this woods on the hill. Mama told Emma and Wynne the story of walking Rebecca through the woods and down the hill to catch the school bus when she didn’t want to board at the end of the driveway and ride the long route around the back of the hill. When they would get to the spot where the vine maple arches over the trail, she would say, “Let go of my hand, Mommy, so I can skip through my fairyland.”
Things change. The fairyland is brighter since the surrounding area was clearcut, several years ago now. There is a lot of blowdown from winter storms over the years since, without the big trees for protection. Forked branches hold up weak ones, just as friends support loved ones no longer able to stand alone. The ancient puncheon road on the trail finally rotted away to nothing. Some of the trails have been allowed to return to the wild and there are some new ones. But the thin branches still arch across the trail right there in that spot. The birds still sing to each other in the trees as I pass quietly through. There are still fairylands, if we can let ourselves believe.

We did warrior pose in yoga on Wednesday, first toward Capitol
Lake glistening through the windows under the spring blue sky, then reversing to face East Olympia unseen beyond the back wall of the room. It was a reminder that though the confines of the room often feel safer, more contained and manageable and known, we can’t stay here inside the four walls. There is no warrior self where there is no risk. We are all part of the world.

And the fulness of spring is out there, too.

1 comment:

graceread said...

"There is no warrior self where there is no risk." I find the phrase SO helpful, Greten. Thank you .