The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world.
~ Robert Browning, Pippa Passes
We are being gifted with glorious weather this week and it looks like it will continue for still another week as well. The rains were too heavy last weekend, but now we’ve had just enough to keep everyone happy, and plenty of warmth to beckon buds into bloom and songbirds to sing. The rose-breasted grosbeaks have returned, the hummingbirds have completed their extraordinary journey and are replenishing their energy at the feeders. I’ve heard orioles and seen them along the trial, but they haven’t yet come to the feeding station and I’m hoping to set out a few oranges this afternoon to draw them in and make them welcome.
Morning’s begin around five for us these days; birds vie for their chance at the worms, insects, and seeds, and the night creatures withdraw to the shadows edging the woods. The sun rises between 5 and 6 A.M. and the eastern view towards the river explodes with light. The acreage at Full Moon Cottage is hemmed in by curtains of willow leaves, ash trees, and pines, and all are illuminated at dawn, back-lit by gold and it is too much; I’m called to wordless stillness, staring at the beauty.
I’ve always loved this stanza of Browning’s. Though I don’t agree with his theological pronouns or geography, we’re all entitled to our perceptions of Holy Source and to orientations regarding its presence that give us peace…and the rest of the stanza is glorious. “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language,” wrote Henry James, but a spring morning is equally captivating.
Just be, says the world; it is enough.
I sense a greater energy in myself, my partner and our 4-legged companions as the bright days lengthen; we all want to be out in it: the budding and blossoming, the light and shadow, the colors and connections.
The first poppy “popped” today as the tulips and trilliums are fading and dropping leaves. We’re well into the garden symphony’s first movement, the whirl of birth and life and death that happens and draws us in and reminds us we’re specifically flowing in the whirl ourselves: The duck eggs will hatch soon; the starling mother drowned in the rainstorm; her six eggs were therefore exposed to the cold and the life within perished…
Our mothers will be feted and honored less than they are due, but happily, this weekend; those of us who dreamed of children and were not blessed with them will mourn unrealized dreams…
It all mixes together and passes too quickly, all of it. Children grow up; gardens rise, bloom, and return to the earth; chances are taken and missed. I cannot remember all the words to the song the child within is singing, but I am certain it is a hymn to the dearness of what is–just this once, and fleeting–and a reminder that joy and pain, regret and rebirth, life and death mix and resurrect into new life. Again.
So I will sit in the garden outside my window and the garden of my life, and see the light and colors of what is here, and of what has come from what has come to pass.
And here is the oriole, orange and brilliant.
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