Now let the snow retreat, withdrawing its hands from the north lands, peninsulas shrinking to fingers, fingers dissolving into crackle-ice that shatters under our feet. Let rough-crystalled islands shrink back into the thirsty earth and open paths and thoughts untrodden for many months.
Winter and spring will keep dancing a while longer. After a few days of major melting, wet snow fell one evening last week, softening and blurring the edges.
You see that I have exchanged the snowflake on my front door for the songbird of spring as a bit of sympathetic magic.
I am in a similar uneasy transition between one way of being and another. Back in that old push-pull state, trading the hours that I had in abundance for a salary and benefits.
Above all, I don't want sitting at a computer all day, in an office with no daylight, to make me lose or forget connection with what's real and what's central: The land, the river, the birds, trees and sky.
Here's what I know. Almost every day, I have an encounter with an other-than-human being that lights up my world. A sight that makes my eyes overflow with beauty and my heart swell with love.
This sacred planet we live upon and are part of is speaking to us, calling our attention to it and then sending love at us. I can only think that there is a conversation going on. Energy, attention, love, gratitude. We have to be paying attention to hear it. And if I stay away or starve myself of this conversation for too long, I feel all wrong.
In the park-that-was-oak-savanna today, a blue-sky day but cold, I went walking. I'd been feeling low on energy, a bit down.
I heard a sound up in the trees. A crooning, confiding, avian sound that swivels my head around, sends my eyes searching for the source.
Two full-grown bald eagles huddled side-by-side on a high branch with a wide view of the river gorge, backs to the wind. Looking for rabbits in the undergrowth, fish in the thawing water, maybe. Maybe resting, being companionable, maybe preening each other's feathers. I do not know the ways of eagles, yet that's no barrier to loving them.
If they hadn't made those sounds (low kuk-kuk-kuk call) and if I hadn't taken a detour from my own thoughts or my living room couch, I would not have noticed them at all, these magnificent feathered kin on their high branch.
I send them winged thanks and watch until they glide down a current of air over the river bluff, out of sight.
Blessed, smiling and definitely lighter of heart, I walk on in the cold sunshine of earliest spring.