I don’t know about March’s entrance and exit, but April’s coming in like a tentacled alien. The conflation of surviving a year of pandemic, of responding to climate change and spring’s erupting haste, and of noticing and tending our pent-up desire for community and social proximity has far-reaching implications, and it seems they’re spreading and winding everywhere, at once. Prioritize, or be entangled.
Our furnace is turned off and windows have been open morning and night; gardens are exploding way ahead of past patterns; our first April shower has just thundered and flashed through today’s 75-degree spaces; Phillip’s receiving frequent jobs for cabinetry and etc. that he can do at home; we’re still trying to finish our own remodeling work; I’m writing and editing three books at once; it feels like everyone’s traveling everywhere; and a million things are suddenly happening. The world’s been shaking in a dice cup that’s been dumped back out this month: what are the odds we’ll survive? I wonder.
Of course, I realize a lot of us are still most often at home, cautious about the Covid variants and the many ways we can protect ourselves and others, practicing the safety protocols when we’re out shopping, etc., but spring, or sprummer, has definitely sprung, and its invitations ring out and linger, a siren song few, it seems, can resist while remembering Covid and her variants are still very much present and actively mutating.
For at least 12 months, we haven’t had to prioritize much at all. We woke up, cared for the dogs, cats, and gardens, pursued our callings, went nowhere, had no appointments, and moved through our days slowly, the peace of it all only unnerved at times by Covid and political news, but we felt safe, even a bit unmoored, floating along on our little Full Moon Island.
I can feel the tightness of our atoms and small world dispersing into the greater world these days. Connections that relied on mutual support this past secluded year are loosening as others’ worlds and their invitations open up as well. But we’re both old pros at making lists, organizing schedules, moving through task-filled days and managing to take breaks when we need them, so we’re not worried about the sudden convergence of “options to consider and actions to take,” just amazed at how quickly they’ve arrived.
I think the climate changes have me most unsettled. The virus is, of course, still raging. I’m mindful of the great suffering it’s causing in South America and elsewhere, and that cases are once again rising in my country due to negligence, but the vaccination numbers are also rising and we know how to prevent infection if we choose.
We cannot, though, alter the climate changes; that time is long past. There is no protocol individuals can follow to bring down rising temperatures, or aid other species in their seasonal and necessary migrations, or nesting, or daily food procurement (beyond faithfully maintaining the feeders for the little few who visit us here). Today, on April 6th, the bit of lawn we still have is green and in need of cutting, but the dandelions that provide nectar to many have not yet risen and bloomed. Time really does seem out of joint. It’s about 20 degrees warmer than what we used to call “normal.” We’re not sure when to begin working in the gardens, though we’ll probably clear their edges of grass and weeds this weekend. I don’t want to compact their soil by treading around within their borders…yet.
For the past several years, we’ve had snow covering the ground in early April, and snowstorms as late as April 27, so we have no idea if this warmth will last or be overtaken by frost and snow, which would be devastating to the current green everywhere and to our fellow creatures migrating, nesting, and now trying to survive in a world that does not match their instinctive triggers and responses.
There are no easy answers; there never were. There’s not one right action or path to follow in the labyrinth our current world has become. But out there on the trail, I can see an old man slowly walking his old dog on the rain-washed and sun-drenched trail, smelling of spring’s emergent life, whether its presence is “normal” or not. Peace exudes from their partnership.
The man waits calmly whenever the dog pauses to sniff or regather his strength. The dog stands in place when the man stops to admire the view or take a deep breath. A cyclist slows to honor their space and then sails on across the bridge, enjoying her day, the gift of its warmth and the saturation of color after winter’s monochromatic persistence…Observing these interactions as I fret about what’s to come, reminds me that if the time is out of joint, I can let it go and enter the flow as it is, focusing on this moment and the next, the companions who fill it with meaning, the creativity it engenders, and the gratitude it always deserves.
Peace to your week.
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