We are off to Hawaii in a few days, in search of the fabled green flash at sunset over the Pacific Ocean. We are ready to warm up our cold bones, and bask in the energy of grandkids playing in the surf. Conversation here has moved from how hard this winter has been, to how slow spring is in coming.
There was one afternoon this week when it looked liked this. I went down to get a cushion for the teak bench, then rushed up to the house for a glass of wine, and by the time I made it back, the kitties had nestled themselves on my seat cushion. I figured they deserved it, and settled myself on the cold wood slats next to them, and told them stories about summertime. The days since have been mostly silver ones. The gray clouds are backlit by the sun’s rise in the sky, and there’s a near white-out of luminous silver light. There was a nice rain for awhile yesterday on a fierce Winnie the Pooh blustery day. We had a roaring fire going by 4:00, and talked about how these fireside evenings will be coming to an end with all the blazing sunlight flooding the living room. The waxing moon has been on a trajectory in which I can see it outside the windows from my pillow, nearly all night. Once in the night, I awakened to see that the moonlight was shining on the faces of my daughters, in a black and white portrait hanging on the wall, making them glow in the dark. I thought that was a good sign…of something.
Not that we expect the snow to be gone when we return in a few weeks. In fact, we’re taking bets that it will be sometime in May before all the piles have disappeared down here in the valley. While we are flying over the Pacific Ocean on Friday, the low temperature here is predicted to be 17 degrees. The pair of geese who return each year to Johnson’s Pond along the highway, have been diligently standing on solid ice. The hockey rink shoveled in the middle is still visible.
You have to look long and hard to see the changes of spring here in the north country. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye calls this kind of looking, “petite discoveries”. It’s a serious occupation, I think, to just take a long, and, loving, look at whatever tiny thing you can find around you. It’s how we come to belong.
“And when you take a long, loving look anywhere, you feel more bonded with whatever you’ve looked at. You feel as if you recognize it, you see it; maybe it sees you back. And you’re participating in a world where it exists. And so feeling that sense of gravity and belonging everywhere is very important to me.” –Naomi Shihab Nye