There comes a time near winter’s end when the long breath of darkness is finally exhaled and the new green inhalation of spring has not yet filled the lungs. These are the gray days, the days of colorless doldrums, the days when the earth seems anemic and drained utterly of cheer and song and laughter. “February,” by name, refers to the “month of purification;” in our neck of the woods, it certainly empties one of energy, which I guess is a kind of preparation for whatever may come next.
So, after enjoying a vivid sunrise on March 1st, Malarky and I headed out on the trail, wondering if March would arrive as a lion or lamb. We were ready for anything different from gray. Although, had she arrived as a gray elephant, that would have been OK, too.
A gentle snowfall floated down from dark clouds as we stepped out, but high winds whipped up and about rather quickly, and the snow began to fall more heavily, swirling, stinging, and obscuring.
Just like that, the trail became magical. We both reveled in the roaring, tingling wildness, even though our faces had “ice cream headaches” in short order. March had made her entrance. Definitely a lion.
The temperature that day was about 10 degrees below the old normal, but climbed daily over the next week. We enjoyed sunny walks on a trail of diamonds and shadows. Vole tunnels revealed mysterious worlds, and Malarky was intrigued by everything. Dazzling days indeed.
It was still cold enough to enjoy cozy fires and naps, as Murphy, Mulligan, and Finnegan demonstrated for me one fine morning.
Fergus likes to explore hallways on his own, and Fiona…well, being the only girl has its privileges, and one of them is catnaps that are private and elevated, as befits Her Highness. Malarky is her obedient servant, a bit in awe and equally afraid, as befits the Younger Brother.
Exactly a week after the snowstorm, the temperature was 30 degrees above the old normal. Blues and infant greens, birdsong, and warming earth filled our winter-drained senses to the brim. Definitely a lamb.
Dizzying spangles of light and music and aroma and color exploded before us, through us, and around us. Malarky hopped and climbed excitedly. Ice melted and water opened, offering more jeweled sparkles, and the slushing, smooshing, and crashing of ice floes into the bridge pediments fascinated him every time we crossed the river.
One day, we watched this young family and were amused by the sibling interactions, or their absence. We were too far away to hear them, but actions certainly tell us stories, don’t they? The older child, walking the calf, completely ignored the rest of them, while the younger boy taunted his even younger sister, who needed comforting from her father…a summary of childhood in a few photographs, indeed.
It’s fun to be with Malarky during this “first year” and experience the seasons through his filter of “Wow! What’s that? Wow! What’s that???” I can only imagine the new smells that will beguile him as spring takes center stage.
We’re settling into our walk routine, which includes treat parties when we pass the “holy” tree and the “funny-face” tree.
One day, 3 red-tailed hawks circled over us, around and around, calling and floating majestically. It was hard to get a good photo because we were deep in the woods (and, as always, I was trying to take photos with one hand, holding a leash with the other, and being and pulled and circled by a pup at the end of this leash), so we just sat on the trail and enjoyed the gift together.
I want to flee the world so often these days: the preening crudeness and bullying of politicians we used to look to for leadership; the fear mongering and sensationalized hype from media we used to look to for intelligent and objective reporting; the disrespectful screaming and insulting at public debates we used to look to for reasoned discourse; and the greedy appropriation of resources we used to consider worth protecting and conserving…it all seems too ugly and imbalanced.
How healing and comforting, then, to have close friends, a loving partner, stimulating art, good books, warm blankets, beloved 4-leggeds, the magic of the trail, and waiting gardens to bring me back to my Center. The awareness and pursuit of counterpose is life-giving.
March has been lovely so far, allowing us to wander in wildness and rest in the stillness of sunshine and birdsong. The cosmic calendar, the seasons and their comforting, continual rotation remind us that the dance of the universe invites balance, however chaotic and turbulent the present time may be. We live in close-up, but we can imaginatively always pull the camera back and see the bigger picture, revolving, back to where we’ve been before, but fresh and new, and, if we choose, full of hope.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and A blessed Easter to all.
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16 thoughts on “Lions and Lambs”
beautiful photography, Kitty… and aside from that, I don’t think there’s such a thing as normal… it’s just dozing off. life goes on. the world goes on. and no normal…
Good to hear from you, Shimon! Thank you for visiting and know I’m holding your gentle peace in my heart…your abnormal friend. 🙂
Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you as well. 70 yesterday, 33 by Thursday. We’re on the cusp of spring and winter ’15-’16 will rapidly disappear. Looks like Malarkey is growing. Any ideas if he’ll be a big boy? Hope all is well with you, Phillip & the other family members!
Love to you and yours as well, dear one! Yes, it’ll be colder again, but not for long, and I like colder nights! 🙂 The peepers are singing like crazy at night. Malarky is about 20 pounds and I don’t think he’ll get too much bigger, maybe up to 30…He’s sweet and smart and peppy. We really love him a lot. Still thinking about a sister for him, but focusing on cats’ teeth this month and next…then, we’ll see. Have a wonderful St. Pat’s! Smooches to all. xxoo Kitty
Crazy weather going on and beyond crazy and disturbing actions dividing our country again and again…Nature seems the only safe place to go and find peace within. I long for the day we pop out the other end of this dark tunnel and into the light of compassion. It is a long time coming which in turn challenges our strength. We shall get there Kitty despite it all! Happy spring and Easter and all the other days that grace your world. May they all bring love and peace to your heart and of course to Phillip and the four leggeds as well.. VK ❤
Fergus has the sweetest little round face that makes you just want to kiss it….
Thanks you for your always beautifully stated words, Hollis, and a blessed spring to you, too! Yes, Fergus is my little Moon Pie; he does have the roundest little Chinese-lantern head of any cat I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. We are very glad he found and us. And chose to stay 🙂
Ooooooh…just spotted that comment re a sister for Malarky down the line, how EXCITING! How lovely to see how he’s developing, he still has a look of Annie. I can imagine the fun experiencing the world through his eyes. I remember the first hot day when my two were young and they both panted for the first time and looked at each other in astonishment!
What a marvelous march, snow and blue skies, we could do with either here, the greyness, as you say, becomes draining.How lovely to see mole tunnels in the snow, that is an unusual picture. I always enjoy seeing all the kitties, how individual and unique they all are. The holy and funny tree had me smiling, I name everything as well/
I’m with you on the ugly and imbalanced, it’s so easy to let it all get you down, at times I despair, but then remember to always have hope, each day is new and change has to come one day. Another marvelous post….as always!xxx
I wish I could send you some of this lovely weather…although, tomorrow we could have severe storms, which are not my favorite. But March is always something, unlike February, which is mostly nothing-blah. Poor February! (It does have Valentine’s Day!)
The cats are each so individual, as you say. My poor sweet Finny has to have some teeth pulled tomorrow, which has me worried, but I know he’ll feel MUCH better in a few days. They all have their dental/check-ups this month. I’ve never been able to get them happy about tooth brushing, although Malarky is fine with it, for which I’m grateful.
Thanks for visiting and commenting, Dina; I’m really enjoying your travel posts! Love to all at your sweet home.
Kitty, this is the most beautiful poem to March that I have ever read. You have such a rich reflective way of viewing the world and your readers are blessed by the way you share it. Beautiful photos too – my favorite was Malarky pulling his leash into the snow :-). I always think that when the lion and lamb of March lie down together, Spring has truly come. Happy Easter!
And today: an ice storm! Yes, it certainly is March! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, always welcome and greatly appreciated, Lynn! Blessings and joy to your spring and sweet gardening hours as the warmth returns. 🙂
Dearest Kitty, I’m dedicating my next post to you! For the love of March. Watch for it tomorrow ok. Hope you’ll like it!! Hugs and a million rays of sunshine, happiness and furry paws to keep your heart snug like a bug! Love always, Sharon x
Well, what a treat and honor. Our sweet Finnegan died rather unexpectedly just after this post and we have been so sad, but adjusting to this new settling of relationships and energy in our family, so a post of yours is always so very welcome for the heart and spirit. 🙂 Bless you, Sharon.
What wonderful, wonderful photos, and thank you for sharing not just them, but your animals, your love of nature, and your beautifully worded thoughts. It seemed like a particularly long winter this year, yet even the cardinals, regular visitors all winter long, seem brighter in the ever-so-slight greening of the bushes and trees – a tiny toast to Spring. (I’ve come by courtesy of Sharon.) 🙂
Thank you for visiting, Dreamer; how kind of you to take the time to read and comment. Yes, I think I’ll give spring a BIG toast! 🙂 I cannot say enough wonderful things about Sharon, but I bet you already know this to be true. Gentle peace to you. May the rising green bless your life with creativity and hope.
Thank you and the same to you. We can toast together. 😀